A Message from Marlene
“Love is the Answer?”
As I sit down to write this newsletter the news is still full of stories following the bombings in Paris, Belgium and Pakistan. How does one explain the unbridled hatred, often committed in the name of religion to our children? How do we explain the murder of innocent women and children? I’ve come to the conclusion that there simply is no answer that makes sense. Ignorance and cultural and social intolerance have resulted in a world gone mad.
And yet, we do have the answer as spoken so perfectly by our Lord Jesus which we share daily with our students and families in schools, in churches, in our daily lives.
Matthew 5:43-48:“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.”
Can you imagine the reaction when those words were spoken? They are as radical now as they must have been back in Jesus’ day. How are we expected to love someone who has hurt us or hurt someone that we love?
Mother Theresa said “If we really want to love we must learn to forgive”.
Several years ago I watched a documentary made for public television called “The Power of Forgiveness”. Included in the documentary were very powerful stories of forgiveness, which included the story of the killing of five and wounding of three Amish school girls in October, 2006 by Charles Roberts. The parents of the girls immediately made their way to the murderer’s family to offer their forgiveness and support. What?!! Most of us can’t imagine that we’d be able to follow the example of the Amish. And yet, if we follow Jesus it’s clear that forgiveness is the way forward and the path toward healing.
We live in a world where terrorism has become a fact of life—in the Middle East, in Africa, in Europe, in America. So when the bombs go off and kill innocent people or when the gunman kills innocent victims, what will our response be? Will we teach our children to hate or will we follow the example of Jesus who never taught anything but love even to his death on the cross. It’s up to us and it’s never going to be easy.
The Lester R. Bayer Award Presented to Amazing Grace and Renton Prep
2016 Lester R. Bayer Award for Excellence in Urban Education was presented to Amazing Grace and Renton Prep Christian School on April 1, 2016. Accepting the Award was Dr. Michelle Zimmerman, Principal and the Rev. Dr. David-Paul Zimmerman, Executive Director.
Prior to presenting the award several Lutheran educators were treated to a tour of the two school sites and were duly impressed by the caliber of the students and teachers alike. Both campuses have been designated “Microsoft World Tour Schools”, two of only 27 worldwide. Dignitaries, government officials and education leaders from around the globe come to visit and discuss education with students and staff who are considered leaders in educational innovation.
Christ’s life and ministry form the foundation of the school’s six core values. Expecting students, with help from parents, to discover, display, and apply the God-given talents and gifts that make them unique individuals, they prepare for a life of leadership and service to others. Amazing Grace and Renton Prep students must be willing and committed to:
Creativity: Forming and communicating new valuable ideas, products, or artifacts to reflect learning
Humility: Being a servant to all, following the example of Christ
Resolve: Persevering with determination to accomplish academic, social, and spiritual goals
Interdependency: Contributing skills and talents, and accepting assistance from others to benefit the community
Simplicity: Discerning the most important aspects of life and learning and effectively applying them
Transformation: Embracing change to become more Christ-like
In our visit to the school these were not just words written on a wall, but words that were being lived out by each of the students and teachers. CUEM is proud to have chosen Amazing Grace and Renton Prep as the first recipients of the Lester R. Bayer Award for Excellence in Urban Education. Well done!
CUEM in Partnership with Schools, Congregations, Judicatories and Individuals
The mission and ministry work of CUEM is supported by various partners around the country. Without their support our work would be impossible to complete and we are thankful for each and every one of them.
Recently our supporters included the people of Calvary Lutheran Church in Solana Beach, CA. who presented us with a check for $1000.00 to use as needed for our work.
We received a grant from the Wider Church Fund of the Metropolitan New York Synod in February for $15,000.00 to support our work in blended learning.
This month we received a grant from the Long Island Lutheran Crusader Fund for $1000.00 to support our work in blended learning.
And of course, we can’t forget those of you who have so generously donated to us on an individual basis. God has truly blessed us with wonderful partners for whom we are eternally grateful.
The Lester R. Bayer Award for Excellence in Urban Education
We are now seeking nominations for the 2017 Lester R. Bayer Award for Excellence in Urban Education. The award which was established in honor of Dr. Bayer, one of the founders of the Center for Urban Education Ministries, recognizes those highly successful in operating innovative and effective urban education programs. Churches, schools and social service agencies involved in education are eligible to apply. Nominations are due at the CUEM office no later than October 31, 2016 and should include:
- Organization name, address, phone number and website.
- Name and contact information for organization’s director or leader.
- A one page statement describing the work of the organization or program.
- A one page statement outlining why the organization should receive the Bayer Award
- Letters of support for the nomination are encouraged.