One Church One School Brunch
The diocese held its annual One Church One School brunch to thank churches who are making a difference in their community by partnering with schools.
The goal of One Church One School is for every parish in the diocese to develop at least one partnership with a local school in order to build bridges between members of the community and congregations of the local church. This initiative is simply about “being” the church to our neighbor. Currently, thirty-five churches in the diocese are engaged in a school partnership.
The success of students can be tremendously improved by the involvement of churches as partners with schools to provide support and to enhance the quality of education through tutoring, mentoring, teacher appreciation or other needs that may have been identified.
The Rev. Mary Lessman spoke about value the program has for her parish, Good Samaritan in Dallas. She said the church partners with a nearby elementary school and helps with back-to-school activities such as gathering school supplies, backpacks and having a service to bless the supplies, teachers and students for the upcoming school year.
The congregation also helps the school provide Thanksgiving meals for those families who need help and adopt angels for Christmas. "It's our Christian call to serve others," she said.
Partnering with the school was a new experience both for the church and the school, she noted. "We are not there to proselytize, or get people to come to our church. We are there because we want to serve them," Lessman said. "When they see Christians living out their faith - not in the way they expect - it opens them up to Christianity."
Katie Wallace, who is a counselor at Burks Elementary School in McKinney, said her school's partnership with St. Andrew's-McKinney has been a blessing.
"The church is lifeline for the school," she said. "They send Godly men and women to our school to help our students succeed. There is someone stable who consistently shows up and loves them."
She said the church has also helped the school with the death of a teacher's spouse, buy emergency groceries and clothes for needy students and a host of other meaningful services.
For those interested in started a One Church One School program in their parish, please contact Dabney Dwyer at 214-500-7205.