This past week, our leadership team received a letter from Karli Feaster, a CFCer and a local teacher. Because Karli’s heartfelt note and prayer request about the upcoming school year put words to what many may be feeling during this time of uncertainty, our team decided to offer an opportunity for families to come together to pray. Wednesday, August 12th, from 7:30-8:30pm, we invite families of CFC and the local community to join the CFC Prayer team and Elders for a time of prayer. We will pray corporately over the coming school year for educators, parents, children and teens. There will be an opportunity for your family to be prayed over specifically. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket to sit on, to help with social distancing. If you would like to attend the Back to School Family Prayer Event, you can register HERE.
Below is a copy to Karli Fester’s letter that helped to inspire this event. It is printed with her permission.
Dear CFC family & leadership,
I’ve wrestled with thoughts of brokenness and confusion for the past few months with the Lord as the uncertainty of the future of school is weighing heavily on my mind as a teacher, and the waters just seem to get muddier. I don’t have the answers. I don’t know why this has happened or why it’s come to this place. I don’t know what the right thing is to do next. I don’t have an opinion to share about what this coming year should or shouldn’t look like, and I don’t even like to be asked that question.
When I think about school, it’s not a place or a time or a building or an activity that comes to mind. It’s the 24 hearts and faces I said goodbye to unexpectedly last year and the 24 names on my roster for this coming year which belong to 24 hearts and faces I don’t yet know.
My heart breaks for the ones who have no adults present in their lives right now to cheer them on. My heart breaks for the ones who aren’t comfortable or safe at home. My heart breaks for the ones whose worlds have turned upside down with changes in parent’s jobs and living situations. My heart breaks for the ones experiencing abuse. My heart breaks for the ones not getting enough food. My heart breaks for the ones who are too anxious to function. My heart breaks for the ones who have not seen friends or even family members in months. My heart breaks for the ones whose worlds have shrunken so small that they’ve lost hope that anything better will ever be true in their lives again.
I know that God is good. I know that he is sovereign. I know that he asks those who love him to seek peace and pursue it. To love others like themselves. To live no longer for themselves but for him who for our sake died and was raised. To be a voice for the voiceless, and after a whole lot of prayer and reflection, I think it’s time for me to speak up and ask you to fight with me.
Will you pray for my students? The ones who are scared. The ones who are excited. The ones who don’t know where dinner is coming from tonight. The ones who feel safe only within a school building. The ones who feel safe only within the walls of their home.
Will you pray for me? That I would be able to see to the face behind the mask or screen. That I would be able to show love without hugs or high fives or smiles. That I would have the wisdom of when to listen and when to speak. That I would be able to walk through these relationships and months with discernment and integrity.
Will you pray for our community? That we will be able to look at each other with grace and mercy in kindness and humility. That we will be willing to step in when we see a need. That we would focus on hope over grief. That we would choose to see and bring light into dark places.
The new school year is about to start in a way it never has before. But now more than ever I am confident it was never even about “school” in the first place. It’s always been about providing space for safety and leading to growth. It’s always been about loving kids well.
Karli Feaster, just one of the many teachers with a heavy heart
Tricia manages the flow of information at CFC, creates written content, and assists ministries in communication efforts. Tricia has attended and served at CFC since 1997 in the areas of Children’s Ministry, Capital Stewardship, Hospitality, and Women’s Ministry. A graduate of Penn State, she has 7 years in sales experience and 10 years in marketing at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co. She is excited to use what she has learned in the corporate setting to serve God and His church. Tricia, her husband Mark, and three boys, Avery, Andrew, and Aaron live in Lancaster.