Life Lessons from Pastor Mark 8.6.19

School is in the air. Our students are on the threshold of change this month, and as we transition from summer time to school time, it’s as if we are in the in-between time. We are almost there, but not yet. So it causes me to wonder, ponder, and even worry… what does next year look like, with all the opportunities, challenges, blessings, and struggles?  I am hoping for some good news this year.

Many parents sometimes feel that we are sending our kids “like sheep among the wolves” out to a scary new world with ugly violence, negative values, and unchristian attitudes that predicate destructive actions. Perhaps I am one of them. Nervous about new schools and new challenges; hoping the best for my kids. Sometimes I find myself in need of some good news.

As a parent, I look towards other parents to help guide me. We need (I know I do) a community of parents that will help us navigate these uncertain times with hope, encouragement, and good news even in the midst of bad.

As a member of the Lydia Patterson Board of Trustees (a United Methodist school in El Paso a half mile from the border), I’d like to share with you the words of Dr. Socorro de Anda, LPI’s president (below). She was a beloved 2nd mom for me, and her deceased son Marco was my childhood best friend. She’s seen struggles, challenges, good and bad news as a mom, administrator, and leader of LPI, and shares some good news with us:

 “… Now more than ever we proclaim being the deliverer of good news. We teach love and respect to all regardless of race, religion, national origin, or any other God given grace unlike our own. We are exactly what is so badly needed in our communities. We are uniters not instigators. At a time when religious ministries and community programs are at a decline in our country, we stand steadfast. Our students disperse throughout the countries of the US and Mexico after graduation. Wherever they go, they spread the love of Jesus in their daily lives and their relationships with their fellow brothers and sisters. This is what we send out. This is what we teach. That is what is so badly needed. Frankly, if we had more Lydia Pattersons throughout the country, perhaps tragedies like that of Saturday would not occur. The United Methodist Church should stand up and proclaim this truth. We are the Good News."

I pray that as parents (whether you have kids, have kids in your family, or know kids in the church), we prepare our kids go to school. I pray that we have the wisdom to give them the unique and liberating tools to be and share the Good News of the Gospel by spreading the love of Jesus in their daily lives and relationships.

Kay Porter