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Monday, December 15, 2014

Pastorgraphs: “A Choice School”

E-Vangel Newsletter
December 15, 2014

Christ United Methodist Ministry Center

“Christ in the Heart of San Diego”
3295 Meade Avenue - San Diego, CA 92116 - (619) 284-9205
Pastorgraphs: “A Choice School”

Just when you thought we are as crowded as physically possible, I am delighted to share with you one more member will be joining our Ministry Center family. This week we finalized negotiations with the San Diego County Office of Education to become a site for their Choice Community School for the first semester for 2015.

How do you fit a dozen congregations, another dozen charities or weekday ministries, and a high school class into one building? (It reminds me of the old question, “How do you fit a dozen clowns into a VW? Easy! Six in the front seat and six in the back.”)

In addition to the Sanctuary, Chapel and Social Hall, we have a “Lower Level” that offers additional space. As part of the 1957 educational wing expansion, this basement space was for many years the Youth Department of Christ Church. Recently it has served as additional worship space for Be Encouraged in the Word and our Hispanic ministry. Both of those congregations are graciously moving to other spaces in our building to allow Choice School exclusive use of the Lower Level through July 31, 2015, and perhaps beyond.

Choice Community School (CCS) is for students in grades 7 to 12. Rather than functioning as a traditional high school where all classes meet in one building, CCS students meet in “self-contained” satellite classrooms spread throughout San Diego. In conjunction with Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS), Choice School provides a fully-accredited educational program for school-age youth who are either wards of the court or have been referred by social services, probation, or one of the 42 school districts in San Diego County. Services are provided to incarcerated youth, pregnant minors, foster youth, expelled teens, and chronically truant youth, students in drug treatment centers and group homes for neglected or abused children, and homeless youth.

JCCS serves about 12,000 students per year with 40 schools that are split between two networks that cover the entire county. JCCS educators are committed to high expectations, social justice, and equality for all students. They value diversity and strive to eradicate institutionalized racism and discrimination in all forms. Their priority is to raise achievement of all students while eliminating the achievement gap between students who are racially diverse. They accomplish this through the delivery of culturally and linguistically responsive standards-driven instruction, courageous and advocacy-oriented leadership, and relevant professional development. All JCCS community members stand personally committed and professionally accountable for the achievement of this mission.

Choice School fits in perfectly with our mission to assist the hungry, thirsty, unclothed, sick, imprisoned and sojourners among us. What an awesome opportunity to help 30 teenagers who are at a life-changing, life-defining crossroad to take the right path.

This is God’s doing. If you don’t believe in miracles, especially at this season of the year, just look at the ongoing “Miracle on 33rd Street”. A dozen clowns in a VW? That’s a piece of cake. A dozen churches, another dozen charities and now a high school class all in one building? Now that’s what I call a Christmas Miracle.

In Christ’s Service,
Bill Jenkins

From The Quote Garden:
“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job.”
~ Donald D. Quinn ~

Photo: Lower Level at Christ Ministry Center.

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