SACRAMENTO, CA – For the first time, National Education Sunday will be celebrated across all 50 states. From California to Connecticut, Christians will unite in support of a common goal: quality education for all children in America, regardless of zip code, ethnicity or income. On September 3, 2017, churches from a variety of denominations and ethnic backgrounds will pray for America’s students and will commit to educational excellence in their communities.
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC/CONEL), the nation’s leading organization for 16 million Hispanic American Evangelicals, founded Education Sunday in 2005. Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, founder and president of NHCLC/CONEL is a both a pastor and a former public school educator. He encourages pastors and parents to seize this opportunity to free those held in bondage by ignorance or low standards: “When we unite as Christ’s church, we act as an influencing agent within our culture and an agent of change within our communities. I invite you to celebrate Education Sunday on September 3. Join us as we support excellent education options for every child in America.”
Dr. Andrea Ramirez, Executive Director of the Faith and Education Coalition – NHCLC, adds, “Churches are central to American communities. So it’s natural that conversations about education happen at church gatherings. Our prayer is that education equality can become a reality for children across our country. The era of families moving solely to gain access to ‘the good schools’ needs to end, and churches can be a part of the solution. ” Dr. Ramirez notes that Education Sunday is an ideal time to invite a principal, teacher, or district leader to share ways the church can best serve and support local students and schools.
The NHCLC hosts a resource page at www.FaithandEducation.com for churches participating in Education Sunday. Tools provided include bilingual resources and information for parents and church leaders, including:
- Parent Toolkit: parents can plan for a successful school year with tips for student success, parent-teacher conference guides, suggestions for test prep, and links to academic standards by grade level.
- Education Sunday Support: resources include a sample sermon, Bible studies for a variety of age groups, bilingual “Back to School” tips from Scholastic, bilingual information from College Board, and more.
- More through the year: resources are provided year round, including a monthly education e-newsletter and an electronic bilingual College Guide produced in partnership with Christianity Today. Church leaders will learn how they can participate in state-based conversations such as school accountability and guaranteeing English language learners have access to information for student success.
Dr. Antipas Harris, a member of the NHCLC Board and a leader in the Faith and Education Coalition, encourages African-American churches to join Education Sunday this year: “From both practical and moral perspectives, education is a key mechanism in pursuit of equality in society. Practically speaking, education sharpens students’ critical thinking and prepares them for an outstanding future. Proverbs 18:15 explains that discerning persons pursue learning. The wise make learning a priority. Education Sunday shows that the Church advocates for children to rise to the call the Lord has for their successful future.”
The NHCLC holds Education as one of its core directives, advocating for education equity and high academic standards for all students.
The NHCLC serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals worldwide assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and hundreds of thousands of congregations throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. Seeking to reconcile evangelist Billy Graham’s message of salvation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march of prophetic activism, the NHCLC emphasizes “7 Directives” of Life, Family, Compassionate Evangelism, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.