We are partnering with Wedgwood Christian Services in order to establish a public charter school (grades pre K-12) on the Westside of Grand Rapids, beginning September 2014. Wedgwood will own and operate the school, but the Westside Boiler Room will have offices and a prayer room in the same building. We will use these rooms for after school mentoring and 24-7 Prayer while using the gymnasium for Love Feasts on Wednesday and worship on Sundays.
Imagine a school operating in a building monday through friday, and a church, which now meets only Sundays in the building. Now, imagine if the church staff and volunteers devoted themselves not only to the church members, but to the school, their students and families. We want to help people toward wholeness in the Lord. In order to do this, we will provide services to help grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, interpersonally and spiritually, based in the belief that Jesus Christ makes us whole. Our ultimate hope is to introduce them to the One who will make them whole.
While Christianity may not be taught during the school hours, we can provide services after hours on a voluntary basis. This means serving them before school, after school and on weekends in all kinds of ways that these families desperately need to be physically, intellectually, emotionally, interpersonally and spiritually whole. That dream is our goal! And we see ourselves tenaciously committed to the long term development and success of school and church as we reach out to at-risk students, families and neighborhood.
This new school, Stockbridge Academy, will focus on helping students find academic success, wisdom and character, as well as a way to make a positive difference on the Westside while providing professional development for city teachers in a lab school setting. We believe over the years that this school will provide a doorway for inviting students and families across generations to receive the good news of Jesus Christ.
In the two years leading up to this new school partnership, we will not be sitting on our hands. We will be developing our current ministries so that when Wedgwood’s Hope Academy Westside opens we will have close to 100 volunteers trained and ready to be Jesus to the students and their families.