Is your congregation looking to become a Seed Sower in your community? You can find inspiration by seeing what other congregations in our District are doing below.
Miramar Learning Center, in Miramar Florida is the first recipient of a Kingdom Seeds Grant. Sonrisa Howey, who began the Learning Center shares the story!
A little history on how the Miramar Learning Center came to be…
At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, I began to feel out of place in the school I had been teaching at for 8 years. I wanted to continue teaching, but not in a school and was unsure what it should look like with the unknown of COVID-19. I started looking for a place that would be interested in helping me piece together this new idea I had of blending e-learning and tutoring. Miramar Lutheran Church caught my eye. In this church struggling to find its place in a changing community, I felt connected because I too was trying to find my new “place”. The facilities were there, but needed so much work to be up and running properly. With your help in getting the grant we were able to clean up the room, purchase school supplies/ materials and advertise. Within the first week of opening I had parents eager for my help. They came to me with concerns of their kids falling behind this school year with everything being virtual.
One of my students, Levi, came to me in third grade with a 2nd grade reading level. His mom was concerned he would score low on the winter testing and have to repeat. I worked with him every day for five weeks and was able to improve his reading scores. His mom came to me after receiving the test scores with so much joy and gratitude. She couldn’t stop thanking me for the huge improvement her son was able to make.
Another student, Israel, came to me in 1st grade not even knowing his sight words. He also had missing assignments dating all the way back to the start of the school year and was failing. His mom was frantic and in need of help. Within two weeks we were able to catch up with all his work and get him back on track. As of now, he has been able to successfully pass ⅔ of his needed sight words. His mother is so grateful to have found help through our Learning Center.
I would love to grow the tutoring service over the summer as a learning enrichment program, which could then transition back to after school tutoring. Most recently, we hosted an event for St. Nicholas day to connect our school and church. I intend to host more events this upcoming year. I hope these events can bridge the gap between church and school and form a sense of community. My goal with the tutoring program is to not only help kids excel in their education, but to introduce them to God and help grow our church family.
Mt. Garizim Lutheran, in Fort Lauderdale FL, provided children and teenagers special Valentines treats and activities. The congregation members prepared treat bags and shared them with congregation members to hand out in their communities. The youth also provided special music during the church service.
In November of 2020, St. Peter initiated plans to enter a float in the town of Dahlonega’s annual Christmas Parade. (In 2019 there were no Christian floats.) We thought this might be a way to reach out to people with the good news of Jesus’ birth. Our members planned and built the float entitled “Follow Us To Bethlehem.” Sheep with children dressed as shepherds rode on it leading the way to the manger with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. Members also walked alongside greeting the community and wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas!”
St. Peter won first place. This pandemic has devastated collective gatherings for worship and fellowship – and the success of our float has lifted the spirits of both our members and the community at large.
Lake Oconee Lutheran Church is offering a new service to their community. The Little Free Pantry is stocked with a variety of food and is available to anyone at any time. There are no applications and no pre-requirements. Just stop by and take what you need. The pantry is checked and refilled twice per week.
Amazing Grace provided a pizza party to students at the nearby Wildwood Elementary School. These students are part of Wildwood’s Accelerated Reading Program. The students were treated to pizza party – who doesn’t love pizza?! And the top 10 highest scoring students in each grade were given an award book containing a message of encouragement and congratulations from Amazing Grace Lutheran Church.
The volunteers from Grace helped the children select their free books and served the pizza and juice boxes. The pictures tell the story of how they engaged with the students during this special time.
Bob K. entertained some of the boys with his sleight-of-hand magic card tricks.
Paula has some magic of her own in the way she connects with the kids in meaningful and caring conversations.
The Pizza Team was on their “A game“ as they ushered in and fed the kindergarten through second graders for the first awards ceremony, and then the third through sixth graders for the second awards ceremony.
Amazing Grace, Oxford, Florida members Diane Biel, Dennis & Paula Ewald, Bob Renner, Marliese White, Bob & Linda Kavalunas, Dave Schernikau, Tom and Carrie Andrews, Peggy Ludwig, Devra Siebert, Kathy and Teal Trendowski, Barb Farner, Norma Delair, Lois Schaefer, Pastor Rockey gathered at church on February 5 for a brief devotion led by Pastor Rockey, instructions and carpooling assignments.