I hope you have been enjoying these unseasonably warm days! I love seeing people come out of hibernation, walking their dogs and starting spring yard work. We all know it could still snow in April but I am enjoying it while it lasts. Hope you are too! We are excited to update you on what God is doing in the Compass world…
Mission America Leadership Summit
Update from Compass co-leader, Norene Shephard:
About a month ago I had the opportunity to represent Compass at the annual leadership summit of Mission America Coalition. The summit focus was Love 2020, the mission: The whole church taking the whole Gospel to the whole nation and to the world. The summit functions in about 30 spheres such as Justice, Health Care, Media, Children, Orality, and several others. The sphere in which I participated was PK12 Education. Most of the others participating were colleagues from Christian Educators Assn Intl, friends some of you know, such as David Schmus (keynote at Compass Breakfast 2015) and Kathy Branzell. At the conference Kathy was announced as the national coordinator of the Love 2020, and though she was still recovering from pneumonia, she hit the ground running with her usual energy level.
Our sphere working group convened before the conference started to give us extra time to work together in planning strategy and reviewing efforts and opportunities out there. Our purpose—how can we equip educators for their daily mission trip to the classroom. There are many interesting things happening out there as churches adopt schools for whom they pray regularly or do volunteering. In southern California it seems local ministerial associations collaborate for teacher appreciation events.
There is a question that has been burning in my heart the last few months as I hear about these efforts and as we assess what Compass is doing. It is this: "What evidence are we seeing of transformation in teachers, classrooms, schools, learners?" It's that extra dimension that is necessary as we ask God to use us to transform our schools with God's love and truth. Questions arose about "what would happen if churches and ministries did . . .? More than once I reached in my file, pulled out the appropriate report, and quietly said, "This is what that looks like." Humbly, because it is something that God has done through so many devoted and obedient servants called teachers, parents and students. Reports of "My Story," Staff for Christ groups, a purposeful pastoral commissioning prayer as the school year starts, and Good News Clubs beginning in many schools---your faithfulness and openness to God's call is blessing and inspiring folks across the nation.
Compass was mentioned often as a dynamic movement that is making a difference. What a special gift and mission God has given us, and I'm challenged to be a faithful steward of this gift. You, dear Compass educators and parents, are being used by God in ways beyond the Minnesota boundaries—I praise God for each and every one of you. Kathy Branzell has indicated that as she travels the nation she is talking about Compass, encouraging others to spread God's love with a similar ministry. Thank you for all you are doing to shine His Light!
Daniel 12:3 - And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above, and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Support MY STORY at Chanhassen High School-THIS FRIDAY!
Friday, March 18, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
The "My Story" event is the culmination of students Livin' The CAUSE on their public school campus! This effort involves prayer, building relationships and Gospel conversations. A student led event, "My Story" is centered on personal testimonies of lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Students share their testimonies along with other supportive elements like music, comedy, professional athletes, drama and other creative ways to connect with the audience. This event is driven by students and supported by adult advisors within their school.
Join student leaders at Chanhassen High School as they sponsor their very first "My Story" event! All are welcome! Free event!
Coming soon…Minnetonka "My Story", April 9th, 7-8:30pm, Minnetonka HS Black Box Theater. Details at http://www.compasslink.org/Events. Save the date!!
Religious Liberties Seminar
A special THANK YOU to all who came out to attend our most recent Religious Liberties Seminar. We are so encouraged by you! We love to see God placing a desire on your hearts to authentically and legally live out your faith in your school, and come alongside your students, encouraging them to do the same. Our group this time consisted of moms starting Good News Clubs in their schools, allowing an opportunity for students to gather after school in a classroom to study God's Word and invite friends to do the same. We had educators at various stages of their careers, holding different positions yet all curious to know how they can legally respond as students and others inquire about their beliefs at school. Some asked for copies of handouts, excited to share what they have learned with others who couldn't attend. We received the following note from an area educator which, I think, beautifully sums up the experience…
"Thanks for organizing the event last night! It was informative and very helpful. It will provide me confidence in the classroom and take away that annoying awkwardness when a student asks one of "those" questions. With no formal training, I've not been instructed on how to respond in these situations, but now I feel ready. It's an exciting feeling, being able to bring my whole self into the classroom, and not having to check my heart at the door!"
A special thanks to Hannah Nguyen and Heather Kohnen for their leadership in these quarterly seminars. Their experience and expertise is so appreciated! Stay tuned for upcoming seminar dates. This is valuable information you will need in your public school journey!
Easter and St. Patrick's Day in the Classroom
Our friends at Gateways for Better Education have again provided us with great resources to better understand how to integrate upcoming holidays into the classroom in a God honoring and legal way. There are also some interesting facts you may not be aware of! Check out this link for valuable information.
God's Not Dead 2
In theaters April 1st! God's Not Dead 2!! All Christians in the public schools should see this movie...a great discussion starter!
"When a Christian teacher is asked an honest question about Jesus in a public-school setting, her reasoned response lands her in big trouble. As the principal and superintendent join forces with a zealous civil liberties group, an epic court case could expel God from the classroom—and the public square—once and for all!" http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/
May God richly bless each of you!
For His Glory!
The Compass Team
Facebook – "Compass-Navigating Public Education"