This pandemic has been difficult for all of us, but lately, it seems it has been extraordinarily hard on our educators and school staff over the past year. They have endured far more than they ever imagined. Like many of you, I have been stunned and often horrified by some of the bizarre gatherings over the past few weeks. A book burning party, far too reminiscent of the fascist work of the Third Reich. A protest against vaccines and masks that has taken over the streets of Ottawa. And now students in our local schools being encouraged by their parents to engage in anti-mask “protests”.
Educators and school staff are incredible forces for good in the lives of our young people, yet they are often treated with disrespect. They have been on the frontlines of this pandemic, yet they are often disregarded in our conversations around it. Our educators need our love and support more than ever as they face burnout at unprecedented levels. I have always been struck by the creative work that genuine acts of justice and prophetic witness have taken. The bus boycotts of Selma. The climate change school walk-outs. The early church eating together—enslaved and free, male and female, high society and the lowest rungs—as enacting the Kin-dom of God.
Living in the ways of Jesus always requires some creativity because we are participating in a future that isn’t entirely realized. With the same brazen enacted hope as the early disciples, we must constantly participate in reimagining how to enact the world as it should be.
Isn’t it wild that acts of genuine love and altruism change the world? Because responding in open-heartedness and compassion to pain and suffering is participating in the Reign of Jesus. Let us love lavishly, then our educators.
For the rest of this month, let us take this creative energy and turn them toward acts of kindness supporting our educators. We are going to collect treats and cards filled with encouragement for the educators at the schools around us. Each week we will focus our efforts on a new school. The treats must be store-bought (in order to have lists of allergens and cross-contaminations). If you’d like to join in these efforts, please drop off items at the church office or let us know if you’d like to contribute in a different way.
Here’s the scheduled schools if you’d like to pray over them or help deliver.
February 10th—Mt. Spokane HS
February 17th—Mead HS
February 24th Mountainside MS