What if Church Left the Building?

What if Church Left the Building? By John Parsons

What if church left the building?
Well, it has, and one of its names is Common Ground. Over the past year it has been my pleasure to work very closely with this group that continues to take the spirit into the community via the schools. I also have worked closely with Dr. Lois DeKock principal at Bancroft Community School. Her final message on her last day before retiring is a beautiful description of what happens when church leaves the building. I thank my former colleague for her years of leadership and commitment to children. I offer to the reader her letter to remind us all to keep the faith and pitch in where we are called.

June22, 2012
Dear Common Ground Friends:

Today is my last day as a principal, and I can’t move on without thanking all of you for the past twelve years of support and prayers for our boys and girls, our teachers, our parents, and for me personally. Perhaps it’s symbolic that the very last letter I write as a principal is to you!

Sometime before 2000, when I was still the principal at Sweetwater Springs, Chuck and Annie Muller came to talk to me about an idea they had for a long-term project that would connect the community churches to support the local schools. From that seed, Common Ground was born, and it’s blossomed into a life-changing ministry.

Over the past twelve years, you have helped Bancroft in SO many ways. Here is a review of some of them.

  • Your amazing volunteers handled our fifth grade Ladies’ Teas and Gentlemen’s Luncheons—providing food, music, speakers, etc. They made it an event that students look forward to each year.
  • You provided hundreds of deodorants and other supplies for hygiene kits.
  • You provided emergency food and clothing to help our needy families.
  • You served at promotion receptions so that our parents and staff would be free to socialize with the students.
  • You acted as super volunteers in our classrooms—reading, tutoring, helping in every way.
  • You provided bike helmets and car seats to help keep children safe.
  • You helped put together more than 100 bikes for our third graders.
  • You provided miniature golf tickets for families to enjoy a special time together.
  • You provided the goodies and served at special events such as Peace Keeper parties and Peacemaker Award receptions.
  • You provided hundreds (perhaps thousands) of books for children.

And, as for me, you have always been there to offer support, encouragement, and assistance. A couple of years ago, you gave me a prayer quilt square, and I have had it displayed on my office wall all this time as a symbol of the support I knew you would always give.

Again,thank you so very much for everything you have done for our boys and girls. We are truly blessed to have you as partners in our endeavors to improve the lives of our students. In the words of Garrison Keillor, “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.” Thank you for your prayers, thank you for all your support,thank you for caring so much.

Lois R. DeKock, Ed.D.

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