Churches Step Up to Help Salvage School Year

Churches Step Up to Help Salvage School Year


By Heather Hahn
Aug. 17, 2020 | UM News

Faced with a back-to-school season like no other, the Rev. Chrissy Ruehl told her husband: “Somebody should do something.”

After hearing the same refrain from the mayor and school superintendent in Savannah, Georgia, the United Methodist deacon realized God was calling her to be that somebody.
She soon found other area clergy, including her Presbyterian husband, felt the same call to help schools in the pandemic. Together, they formed RISE (Religious Institutions Supporting Education), an interfaith coalition that is transforming six houses of worship into virtual learning centers. One of those six sites will be Isle of Hope United Methodist Church, where Ruehl is minister of children and families.

“I pitched the idea during a staff meeting and really felt everyone was on board,” she said. “It’s really become a ministry for our whole staff. We realize this is the need right now, and this is how we can help right now.”

All across the United States, educators and parents are scrambling to reduce the threat of COVID-19 while ensuring children get the child care and education they need. In response, United Methodist churches are working with school districts to stand in the gap created by the coronavirus. Read more>