November 10, 2010

Night for the Town

I think that it would not be a leap to say that most of us want to be a part of something that is bigger than ourselves. I do.

Almost four years ago I was working in retail. Now, it was retail so I didn't love it. But, I had a good job working for a good company and really shouldn't have complained. It wasn't what I wanted to do with my whole life though. I wanted to be a part of something bigger. I wanted to give something back, to contribute, to make a difference. I didn't (and still don't) really know what that means, but I started volunteering one or two mornings a week at a local urban school reading with kids.

It turns out it wasn't so much about the reading (although it was definitely about the reading and the homework help). It was about connecting with kids. So many of them just loved the consistency we provided them by being there every week. Something dependable. Something safe. Someone to help them sound out that word or fight with fractions. It was about being there - on the same team with real kids, partnering with real teachers and a principle who was fighting to make a difference for these kids, in this neighborhood, in our city. It felt big. It felt like it meant something.

I first heard about Mission: St. Louis at my church, they are one of our non-profit partners in St. Louis - they hope to transform our city by connecting churches with people and neighborhoods in need. The Morning Reading program at Adams Elementary is just one example of how they are active in St. Louis. You can read more about them, who they are and what they do here.

This Saturday they are hosting their annual Night for the Town event. It raises funds to support them as they continue to serve the neighborhoods of St. Louis. It's a good time. You should come. And, if you can't - maybe think about sending them, or a similar organization in your own town, a donation this year. Get involved somehow. We're God's people, let's be part of his redemptive work in our cities.

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