Hood Seminary

Serving Children through Partnerships

by Mary Love and Teaira Parker

Over two years ago, the idea of a 501(c)3 was tossed out in a Hood Seminary Children's Ministry class. That idea became a reality with the inception of Big Changes Start Small (BCSS). BCSS is actively engaged in forming partnerships to make a difference in the Dillehay Courts Community in Charlotte, NC. The main partners currently include three area churches (Greenville Memorial A. M. E. Zion Church, First Mount Calvary Baptist Church and Walls Memorial A. M. E. Zion Church) and the Salvation Army. This apartment complex has a Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club on the premises and the youth who attend make up our main target audience.

In August, BCSS, our partners and others sponsored a Back-to-School summit with approximately 225 children, youth and adults in attendance. Each child was given school supplies, a book bag, books, hygiene items, and more. Classes were provided on parenting best practices, bullying and establishing children's ministries that make a difference. In addition…

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Hood Seminary Children and Poverty Initiative 2012

To highlight the focus on children, Hood Theological Seminary implemented three-fold focus in motion in the Spring, 2012 semester: (1) Class - PTH 300 Seminar in Christian Education among Children, (2) sponsoring a Children’s Summit in the Alabama area to target workers with children and (3) sponsoring a Children’s Summit in Salisbury.

  1. The children’s ministry class had a total of eleven students enrolled including both sites. Students have studied key texts to understand the development process of children and the necessary strategies to enhance faith development. They have been involved in the process of planning for the Summit at both sites and the development of materials to be used during the summits.
  2. The Alabama Children’s Summit was held on March 9th at Metropolitan A. M. E. Zion Church in Birmingham. Approximately thirty people attended representing four denominations: African Methodist Episcopal Zion, African Methodist Episcopal, United Methodist and Baptist. The attendees all possessed a love for children and expressed a commitment to be involved in partnership to make a difference. Other highlights of the summit are given below.
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Hood Theological Seminary

Report of Hood Seminary Awareness Week

Children, Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer

October 13-17, 2009

October is awareness month for Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence and the observance of Children’s’ Sabbath. Realizing the connectedness of the issues, the three were united to lift the level of awareness within the Seminary family and the Community. During the chapel hour services were focused on the issues and called eduworship. The week began with a focus on domestic violence and breast cancer. Student Debra Hall coordinated the service and provided the main focus with a dramatic sermonic word using the poem, “I Finally Got Flowers Today.” This drama showed the escalation of domestic violence and the painful results. Linda Coplin of Family Crisis Council of Rowan County also told of her interaction with domestic violence in her family. The second chapel service focused on grandparents and kincare raising children. Rev. Clifford Barnett, Pastor of Brighton Rock A. M. E. Zion Church and a Consultant for the Children’s Defense Fund shared with a sermon entitled, “Seek the Welfare of the City” based on Jeremiah 29: 1-13 and Matthew 9:35-38. The third chapel service focused on children with Professor Mary Love delivering the message using the title “To Change or Not to Change” based on Mark 10:13-16. The call was to stand for children. On Saturday, Rev. Lula Williams, Faith Based Coordinator for the Children’s Defense Fund was the speaker focusing on Rachel’s lament for children based on Jeremiah 31:15-17. The CDF theme for Children’s Sabbath was Create Change for Children Today: Bring HOPE and a Better Tomorrow”stressing call for advocacy for children and commitment to make a difference in their lives, especially those who are struggling against horrific odds. Special litanies were written for each service.

The first Children’s Summit was held on Friday with 38 participants. Rev. Lula Williams shared with the participants the work of the Children’s Defense Fund and the wealth of statistics regarding children. Attention was drawn to the cradle to prison pipeline, freedom schools and the possible partnerships to engage in ministry to children. Participants included pastors, Christian educators, parents, youth ministers/counselors, Sunday School Superintendents and teachers, guardians, representative from youth and family services agencies, Pfeiffer University and Western North Carolina Conference U. M. C. CEF chapter. Denominational representation included A. M. E. Zion, C. M. E., Baptist, U. M. C., and Disciples of Christ. A packet of information covering the gamut of issues affecting children was given to each participant.

Summit participants and students carried the materials into local congregations and conducted additional services to raise the level of awareness. They suggested additional summits to address the issues of parenting and fathers.

Hood students Courtney Alexander and Valerie Washington were participants in the 2009 Proctor Institute and shared their experiences. Alexander also shared her experience in conducting a freedom school.

In addition to the chapel services, Rev. Barnett shared a wide variety of children’s ministry possibilities with the Foundations of Christian Education Class. Rev. Williams shared with the Children’s Ministry class and the Track 2 - Foundations of Christian Education Class which allowed her to connect with students on the Greenville, Alabama Hood campus via teleconferencing.

This Awareness Week was sponsored by the Children’s’ Ministry Class, the Student Government Association, and the Hood Chapter of Christian Educators Fellowship. It was also in response of the Pan-Methodist Initiative for Children and Poverty.

 



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