Minister's Message – Proximity Always Changes Your Perspective

CONTACT: Rev. Dr. John Regan or 405.341.3544
Every once in a while we get a wake-up call as a church. It’s not hard to get comfortable with the core things you already do well and to begin to be less aware and a little less informed about what is happening to people around you. But somehow the disturbing news breaks into our awareness, and we must decide. Do we ignore this news? Do we accept with a kind of realism that “well, this is just the way things are?” Or do we get involved?

A few weeks ago, the Church Board invited some local educators to come and share with our church leaders about some things that are threatening this generation of children who are being raised and educated right here in Edmond, America. A local elementary principal told us a story of her school where the most basic and fundamental missing school supply is not pencils, paper, or crayons but food. More than sixty percent of her 490 students are clamoring for the free and reduced breakfast and lunch that are provided by the school. For this principal and her staff Fall break, Christmas break, Spring break, and the long summer vacation are what keep them awake in the night. Without the undergirding of the school food program, how many meals will they miss?

In response to hearing this story, some First Christian leaders and volunteers have begun to visit this school to “see for ourselves” what the scale of challenges look like inside the school. Is there a role and place for us to come alongside these educators to fill in some of the gaps, so they have a little more time to plan, organize, and teach? In a school that has many committed parents but who are working more than one job to make ends meet, can we serve as the extended family to read, mentor, volunteer, and serve when they can’t?

During our annual fall generosity campaign, we are inviting the good people of our church to move a little closer to some of the realities that are threatening the present generation of children. And before any of us pass judgment, make statements, pronounce solutions, or vote for anything, we agree to “go see for ourselves.” I recently read these words from a sermon preached elsewhere “We should never measure success by how many show up here to sit on Sunday. We should measure the success of this church by how many are willing to show up in the lives of other people.”

Soon you will receive a letter asking you to make a financial commitment to support the core ministries of our church in the coming year —children’s ministry, youth ministry, adult ministry, music ministry, and our outreach ministries. But this year your church needs a lot more than money. Your church needs you to move closer to some of the brokenness in our community. So, inside your letter, not only will you find a Commitment to Give card, but you will also see a Commitment to Serve sheet. Your church is asking you, your family, your Sunday School class, and maybe your friends or neighbors who are not a part of our church to show up in the life of a child or a child’s school who desperately needs your love and help. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Can we, First Christian Church of Edmond, help ensure that all elementary children have the same opportunity to realize their potential? We believe that together, we can overcome disparity of opportunity which is evident in this Title One school that is tucked away in our community, hiding in plain sight just eight blocks away from our campus!