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Pastor David's Thought for the Week

by Pastor David Alexander
Pastor David's Thought for the Week

Dear First Family, 
For those who may not know, all MISD teachers returned to their classrooms this past Monday, August 3rd. On August 12th, all students in our district will begin a new school year with 17 days of remote learning. Following the Labor Day Holiday, those families who have elected for their students to participate virtually throughout the fall semester will continue to participate in an online format with the rest of MISD students returning to their campuses. 
I know every person who serves in any capacity within our school district greatly appreciates our prayers and our support as they prepare for a school year which we all know will be filled with unique and significant challenges. Just as our community has rallied in our support for hospital workers and first responders, I trust that we will all do the same for these public servants. 
They now join those who have already been serving the front lines of our struggle against the global pandemic that has turned all of our lives upside down. All any of us have to do is to look at our own experience to appreciate the significant influence and impact of all who serve in our educational community. 
As a church, our collective heart has always been directed towards supporting all administrators, teachers and students in whatever we can. This is something deeply embedded in the DNA of who we are as a church, and I want you to know as your pastor how grateful I am to serve a church whose commitment to our community runs so deep. 
In light of the specific challenges of this new school year, today I want to share with you a new way that we are going to be partnering with MISD. During the initial weeks of this new year and alongside other churches in our community, we will be providing space on our campus for families of MISD employees as well as those who participate in the free and reduced lunch program who need a place for their students to participate in online learning.  
To ensure the safety of these students and the staff who will care for them, and with the input of leaders from our school district, we have determined that we will be able to accommodate 65 students. We will be offering this support during those first 17 days of the year before students return to their campuses and classrooms. 
Families can find more information about how to register for that resource on the MISD website at this link. You can also find this same information for other churches in our community who are sharing in that partnership. 
We are grateful for our sister churches who are joining us in this community effort. I appreciate the leaders of our district who are enabling us to serve our community in this way. I am so thankful for our Executive Lay Leadership Team who were quick to affirm our church participating in this partnership. 
This is what great communities do and it’s one just one more reason that as a pastor and a father, I am so grateful to call Mansfield home. 
Now, some might ask the question, “Why are we doing this when we are not having any other on-campus gatherings at this time?”
The answer to that question is really simple. While we all share a deep desire to be able to safely gather again as we once were, this is an opportunity for us to provide emergency relief and support for families in our community who have an immediate and substantial need. 
Again, it’s who we are. 
It’s why we exist. 
It’s an essential part of the mission that we share that guides us in everything that we do. 
I want to ask each of you to unite with me in praying for this partnership. I hope you will also join me in praying for every school, every student, and every one of the heroes who serve in MISD as well as surrounding school districts and other area private schools. 
May God continue to bless our shared work and bless you as we together move through this challenging season. 
I love you and I’m proud of you, 
Pastor David