Perspectives – Seek the Shalom of the City
By Jim Wambach | May 5, 2021
“Seek the shalom of the city where I have sent you, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its shalom you will find your shalom.” — Jeremiah 29:7
This year marks a milestone for Children Rising. It was 20 years ago that the members of First Covenant Church, inspired by Jeremiah 29:7, prayed for the shalom of their city, its health, welfare, and prosperity. One of the amazing things to emerge from those prayers was a group of caring adults adopting their neighborhood school. Out of those humble beginnings emerged Faith Network of the East Bay, now Children Rising.
Today, we celebrate 20 years of empowering the community to empower the kids in Oakland. We work for the shalom of the city, one precious child at a time.
Recently we reached out to the Children Rising family and asked you to complete a short connection survey. I have enjoyed hearing from so many of you. Thank you. We are so grateful for the input as we cast a vision for the next 20 years. Together, we strive for a future in which we may reach many more children and youth, and do more for them.
As I reflect on your responses during this celebration of our milestone year, I was reminded how important our faith communities are to our work. Nearly half of you first became involved with Children Rising through your church. Congregations have driven our community enablement model from the very beginning, and still do to this day.
I am also reminded of the importance of relationships between a caring adult and a child so eager to learn. As one respondent wrote:
“Randy demonstrated and taught us to extend the love of Christ with cultural humility and by showing up for the kids, taking a personal interest in their success, not limiting their potential and by believing in them.”
That is a wonderful expression of our mission. As we move forward into our next 20 years, please know that you are so important to empowering children and youth in our community to rise to their God-given potential. Thank you for being part of our special family.
With sincere gratitude,