Little Church Serves Public School in Big Ways

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New St. Paul Church Puts Its Money Where Its Mouth Is By Donating Time and Money to Local Public School

"Thank you so much for the wonderful support you and your fellow church members are providing to the staff and students at Obama!  It feels as if we have been ‘adopted’ into a wonderful family!"

Christians and public education are too often at odds. The Gallery Covenant Church in St. Paul, MN is seeking to reverse that perception by serving The Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning Elementary School in extraordinary ways. By the end of this school year this brand new church will have invested over $20,000 and well over 500 volunteer hours in a school where poverty runs high and literacy low. In serving the the school, The Gallery believes they will come to know God in new and unique ways. In addition, they hope their efforts might provide inspiration for other churches, synagogues, and mosques around the country.

The Gallery’s giving to the school is born out of a radical step to use the congregation’s offerings in line with the Bible’s two great commandments--love God and love others. This philosophy translates into 50% of Gallery offerings going outside its doors--35% goes specifically to its local community. Gifts to the school have included:

$5830 for new computers
$4600 for new reading material
$2800 for after-school programming
$1500 for families in need
Clothing for students in need
Christmas gifts for families in need
Christmas gifts for all faculty and staff

In addition 3 out of 5 days every week a Gallery member is on campus tutoring or mentoring an Obama student.

Feedback from the school’s faculty has been positive:
"Thank you so much for the wonderful support you and your fellow church members are providing to the staff and students at Obama!  It feels as if we have been ‘adopted’ into a wonderful family!"

Pastor Brad Kindall, the son of public school teachers and weekly tutor at the school, knows his church walks the fine line between church and state: “Our people know we are not at the school to preach. We’re there to serve. The students teach us more about God than we could ever teach them anyway!”

In serving at the Obama school the church is seeking to put its money where its mouth is. They see themselves as a community of Jesus-followers staging scenes from the kingdom of God for a watching world.

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