Just as we were finishing our tour, we stepped into St. Luke’s sanctuary. Spread throughout this sacred space were about twenty children lounging comfortably on the floor and across pews . . . all of them staring into laptops. Indeed, it was a sacred scene! For here, St. Luke’s had transformed the most beautiful and opulent space on their campus into a place for distance-learning children to come together to be supervised, loved on, and served snacks and lunch during school Zoom hours. It was a Learning Pod.
When distance-learning continued on much longer than anyone first thought, St. Luke’s realized that working parents with essential jobs could not simply “work from home.” Instead, they were having to leave their children at home alone for upwards of 12-14 hours at time. During those hours, children were not only caring for themselves—but the school district expected them to log themselves into Zoom to “attend” school and to get their homework done, too. This is simply too much to ask of any child.
So St. Luke’s acted. They created a Learning Pod: a place for children to gather safely to attend online school with snack circles and lunch and a big, beautiful garden for percussion classes during non-Zoom times. As I left, the children were headed into garden, beckoned by a man with the drum, his own toddler dancing away next to him. I will be honest—it took my breath away. What an outstanding example of seeing a need and showing up with the love of Jesus in a whole new way. What an outstanding example of honoring children.
“The love of Jesus in a whole new way” is what Easter is all about—and it is a love that grows. What started out as just a gathering of St. Luke’s children has now become a neighborhood affair serving people beyond their congregation. And RefugeeNet is working quickly to set up another Learning Pod based on St. Luke’s successful model.
Honoring children is part of who we are as Christ Church. This Easter, I invite you to honor our Diocesan children by making a gift for to pass on to our siblings in Christ at St. Luke’s North Park. It is my great hope that our funding will help St. Luke’s continue to respond quickly to emerging needs. May this season of Action in Easter be all about “the love of Jesus in a whole new way!”