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faith communities

Back to school means back to missions

It’s back to school time, and for parents that means helping children sharpen their pencils and charge their laptops in preparation for the first day. For children it means adapting to new morning routines and getting back to a studying and test-taking rhythm. And for pastors, it’s that wonderful time of year to bless school backpacks. While blessing backpacks is popular in big and small churches, it is only the start to what congregations can — and should — be doing to engage more deeply with local schools. According to Dr. Irvin Scott, a faculty member of Harvard Graduate School of Education, backpack blessings have grown over the years because they provide a relatively hassle-free, easy-to-execute outreach to families. “It’s a good first step,” said Scott, with emphasis on “first.”

‘A motivation out of love for God’

The importance of faith communities standing in the gap for asylum seekers was driven home during a national immigration conference hosted by Church World Service (CWS).

Minute for Mission: World Refugee Day

June 20 is World Refugee Day. Displaced from their homes amid unimaginable circumstances, refugees’ journeys are long and difficult.

Take time to help veterans in need

Should you visit the village of Belleau, France, today you will find in their cemetery one grave graced by an American flag. Ernest Stricker is buried among the villagers. Each year the staff of the local military cemetery ensure that his grave is decorated. Stricker is the last American soldier to die in the battle of Belleau Wood.

Baltimore kids find safe space to play year-round

For five weeks during the summer, nearly 50 youth in West Baltimore can be seen working on their reading and math skills, or they might be packing up for a day on a local farm or at an area museum. It’s all part of the Rosemont Community Interfaith Coalition, which is focused on ending the violence in the city by offering positive experiences and hope for youth.