Who Is My Neighbor? (Parkside Elementary)


In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus teaches us the critical importance of feeding the hunger, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, and visiting those sick and in prison.  As we strive to do just that in our own community, we have partnered with Parkside Elementary School in Normal.  Our partnership includes a Backpack Ministry in which we give 100 students a backpack of food to eat over the weekend when they’re not in school to receive school lunches.

But our partnership with Parkside goes beyond meeting the physical need of food.  We also want to support the teachers and students in whatever way possible to let them know that they are loved by the church of Jesus Christ called Calvary United Methodist Church.  We have purchased supplies for school parties, lice kits for families unable to afford them, and special clothing items for children in need.

On Monday, December 5, we were invited to be a part of an event called “100 Caring Adults” at Parkside.  Several Calvary folks joined community members who lined the hallways and welcomed children as they returned to school after Thanksgiving break and let them know that we were cheering for them!  The idea was to remind the students that others were thinking of them while they were at school and were their support system, even if the students didn’t see them everyday in the classroom.  A special surprise went to a student whose first day at Parkside was Monday: a nervous little girl was welcomed onto the ‘red carpet’ by lots of adults cheering her on!

To protect the privacy of the students, no children are in the pictures here, but this gives you an idea of the adults who came to support these children in a very special way.  I think Jesus smiled upon this group of adults loving on God’s children.

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Tomorrow on the Daily Connection: Reflecting on next week's text

About the Author

Debbie Reese is the Co-Directing Pastor at Calvary UMC