August 2019
Dear Congregation Partners,

It's already here: back to school time! Schools in our area are starting up this month. Families and kids are preparing for new routines, and educators are getting classrooms and curriculum ready. 

Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.    And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Join us as we pray for students, families, school teachers and staff as they head back to school. We pray for peace as they enter into this new year, knowing that God is with them in all things.

We also encourage our congregations to be aware of the additional costs heading back to school can mean for families. Costs for new uniforms, shoes, school supplies, and etc. are very real for families with kids. A few of our partners and organizations throughout our community are holding special events to help support families with these needs. Here are a few you can share with your families:
Congregation Connections invoices will be sent out this week, we thank you for your patience as we move through a season of transition. Let us know if you have any questions.  As always, thank you for your partnership and the work you do in our community. 

Grace and peace,
The Congregation Connections Team
We hope you will join us!
This Fall we'll be hosting our annual Congregations Connections Lunch 'n Learn Series. Stay tuned for the topics we'll be discussing! For now, mark your calendars for the following Thursdays at noon on your calendar:
- September 19
- October 17
- November 14

We will meet at Access, 1700 28th Street SE, 49508.
Deep dives are not just for adults! This month we're encouraging you to also spend time talking to youth about issues of race and justice. Dr. Margaret Haberman, author of White Kids :Growing up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America, says ,"kids are learning and hearing about race regardless of whether parents are talking to them about it." Research shows that kids start to develop an understanding of race when they are toddlers. 

There are resources out there to help with these conversations, such as this Parent Toolkit: How to talk to Children about Race and Racism. We also encourage you to read Beverly Daniel Tatum's book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Important Conversations About Race.

As you head into your church's youth curriculum planning, and your kids are entering the school year- pay attention to what you're teaching and what your kids are learning. Racism has been built into our systems of education and we need to be aware and ready to address it when it shows up. 

The Congregation Connections program links social services and faith groups, working to strengthen communities throughout Kent County by supporting ministry and outreach teams. Help support our mission by clicking the donate button below.