Samaritan’s Feet Update

It has been a great privilege for Westminster Catawba Christian School to partner with Samaritan’s Feet during this first semester of the 2016-17 school year.  This has been a school-wide effort, seeking to fulfill our mission to educate students to bless the world as disciples of Jesus Christ.  I am writing today to share a little more about what has already been done, what is still to come, and to give everyone in the WCCS community the opportunity to participate.

Our partnership kicked off during our August in-service week when approximately 50 of our faculty, staff, and administration spent an afternoon in the Samaritan’s Feet warehouse helping to sort shoes in preparation for upcoming shoe drives.  This was followed in the month of September as many of the adults on campus counted steps as part of the Samaritan’s Feet Step Challenge project where organizations are counting steps to bring awareness to those who take those same steps without shoes.  But, this was really just a warm-up activity to get our school excited about partnering with Samaritan’s Feet.

samaritans-feetWe set aside the month of October for our Lower School students and teachers to look for ways to connect the Step Challenge with our curriculum and our calling to bless the world!  Terry Tolbert, the Executive Director of Marketing and Development with Samaritan’s Feet, kicked off the month by speaking to our 2nd-5th graders in chapel.  He did a great job sharing the vision of the Step Challenge project with the kids and asked them to do two things:  first, to count their steps while at school for the month of October; and second, to consider giving some of their pennies, nickels, and dimes to enable Samaritan’s Feet to provide shoes for those without.  It brings me great joy to say that our Lower School “stepped up!”  They walked a grand total of 9,013,837 steps – just at school – in the month of October!  And, they brought in their change – $512.94!!!  (As a side note, a big thank you goes out to the numerous high school students who helped roll the coins – many of whom did not even know what it meant to roll coins until they jumped in to help!) 

The next phase of our partnership will give our Upper School the opportunity to join in the fun.  Terry Tolbert spoke to our 6th-12th graders in chapel as well, followed by an announcement by our Student Council about THE Samaritan’s Feet event for our older students – an ’80s-themed RADminton tournament to be held on Friday evening, November 18th.  On that night, students and teachers alike will don their ’80s attire and participate in a school-wide badminton tournament.  The entry fee for each team will be one new pair of shoes or a financial donation.  The entry fee for each spectator will be the same.  It is our hope to further the awareness and our financial contributions for Samaritan’s Feet through this event.

The last phase of this partnership will allow our school to participate in a shoe drive – probably in early 2017.  We are excited to see the culmination of our partnership as we get to actually put new shoes on the feet of kids who desperately need them!  The final details are still to be determined, but we will be sure to communicate these plans when available. 

Until then, I also wanted to give the rest of the WCCS community an opportunity to help us provide shoes.  If you feel called to contribute financially to this project, please visit http://www.samaritansfeet.org/westminster/. 

Thank you to all who have supported this partnership with Samaritan’s Feet.  I am so excited to see WCCS put our mission to action – connecting the education that we seek to provide with the ability to bless the world as disciples of Christ!

Many mouths sharing the gospel…

I had the privilege of speaking in our 3rd-5th grade Pastor Appreciation Day Chapel this week.  I love these opportunities for folks, particularly those with connections to our students, to step into the world of our students even for just a few minutes.  Many of the pastors arrived early and seated themselves in our chapel waiting for the kids to arrive.  When the kids started walking down the hall (yes, we could hear them coming), the pastors all stood and began scanning the lines of kids for the student or students from their congregation.  Several kids were also straining their necks trying to look down the hall to see if their pastor was there.  I stood at a distance and watched their faces light up when their eyes met – and am not sure who was more excited, the pastors or the kids.  There were lots of smiles and hugs.pastorapprecday

After some introductory remarks, a song, a reading of Scripture and a prayer, I was called upon to speak to this diverse group – with pastors on one side of the room and students on the other.  Having witnessed the connection between pastor and student at this event before, I shared a memory from 40 years ago of Dr. Ross Bair, my childhood pastor.  I told of a time when he encouraged me in my faith.  He knew me personally, and he loved me.  He encouraged me to never be ashamed of the gospel (Rom 1).  He encouraged me to tell everyone who would listen.  I told our students the same thing.  For those who claim the name of Christ, I told them to tell the world.  For those that didn’t, I told them to ask their friends about Jesus.

I then turned to the pastors and encouraged them to picture the lambs of their flock as those who will one day pass along the gospel of grace that they hear from the pulpit on a weekly basis.  Some of them will share the “glorious deeds of the Lord” (Ps 78) with the next generation – including some “yet unborn.”  I imagine that Dr. Bair would be encouraged to hear that “little Scotty” was doing just that as an almost fifty-year-old man.  (Yes, I am reaching out to him this week to send my own Pastor Appreciation Day card!)

My hope and prayer is that we would all thank our pastors during this Pastor Appreciation Month.  And, one of the best ways to thank the pastors that I know will be to pass on the gospel that they preach so faithfully!