Leaders of Tomorrow

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Throughout the bible, and more specifically in the words of Jesus, children have a very special place in the kingdom of God. Time after time we are reminded to not hinder the little children from coming to Christ, to train up a child in the ways that they should go, and even to not cause one of the little ones to stumble. Children mattered to Christ, and they matter to us at Shalimar UMC.  We are committed to the children of our community, not only their spiritual growth, but to ultimately enrich their entire lives. One way that John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, lived this out was through his involvement in education. Wesley knew that knowledge leads to understanding, and that understanding is not merely intellectual, but having a fuller understanding of one’s self is critical to salvation and growing in sanctification.

At Shalimar we continue this historically Methodist approach by having a preschool program, afterschool program, and summer camp offered here at the church. We hope to play our role in making sure that every child has access to higher education, starting at an early age. While we cannot make a difference in every single child’s life in all of Okaloosa county, we can do our part to strive for every child in our community to have access to an environment that fosters academic and holistic growth. One way that our church is invested in this hope is through our backpack program where all are invited to come and receive a backpack filled with school supplies for the coming year on Sunday August 1st.

This year we also have added an additional opportunity for members of our church to help spread the love of Christ to the children in our community through partnering with Meigs Middle School. We already are heavily involved in their FCA program as well as hosting several events here at the church throughout the school year. This year we are asking that you would join us for our Back in Color event at the church on August 4th. We will be auctioning off the paintings from the Faith over Fear series, as well as having dinner, and ending the night with a paint party led by Lisa Fretina. All the money raised will go to help Meigs Middle School continue to provide a place for students in our community to grow in knowledge and understating. We have an opportunity to help right in our own backyard, by helping to fill the gap and create a renovated media center. This space will provide a place for many years to come and for more students than we may ever be able to know, to grow to become the leaders of tomorrow.

As Wesley knew and we believe and live out already at Shalimar, God has created and called all children to play a part in bringing the kingdom of God to earth. What we do today to help foster the growth academically, spiritually, socially and mentally for the children in our community, will bring greater self-understanding, commitment, and service to Christ and His church for the leaders of tomorrow.

Complete in Him,
Matt Langford
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Matt Langford

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