Metro District churches demonstrate importance of offering and partnering to offer virtual learning


By Dr. Deborah B. Smith
Metro District Superintendent
(Fayette, Tipton & Shelby Counties in southwest Tennessee)
Memphis Conference, The United Methodist Church

As we continue to find ourselves in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot and must not become comfortable in our own well-being and safety. We are reminded in Jeremiah 29:7: But, seek the welfare of the city…and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
This is what we United Methodists are striving to do during this pandemic. We recognize that in tending to the welfare of the city, we need to tend to the welfare of our children as they strive to navigate and learn via virtual education.
Parents, guardians and students are thrust into situations where they are called to learn in extraordinary circumstances and an environment they have never experienced before. There is an implicit expectation that parents and students are skilled in technology and academic skills to be successful in this learning environment, but we know this to not be applicable to all. 
It is because of this assumption that United Methodist Churches in the Metro District have joined families in this endeavor. Because of virtual learning partnerships where children can go to a safe environment at a participating church, students are offered appropriate tech support and tutoring that will afford them opportunities to not fall behind in their learning benchmarks, but continue to progress at acceptable levels where children can excel and meet the challenges in front of them. 
This approach also allows parents and guardians the opportunity to seek employment and maintain jobs without sacrificing the educational and economic welfare of their children and families. All of this contributes to the overall welfare of the city. It is in these partnerships, the children and parents/guardians will experience love, hope and promise of Jesus Christ.
Below is a list of Metro District churches offering or partnering to offer virtual learning. 
Covenant United Methodist Church
Cordova, TN
Raleigh United Methodist Church
Memphis, TN
St. Stephens United Methodist Church
Memphis, TN
Partnership with EnrichED
Capleville United Methodist Church
Memphis, TN
Partnership with YMCA
Christ United Methodist Church
Memphis, TN
Partnership with YMCA
Colonial Park United Methodist Church
Memphis, TN
Partnership with United Methodist Neighborhood Centers
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
Memphis, TN
Partnership with Booknote
Longstreet United Methodist Church
Memphis, TN
Partnership with White Station Elementary School
Mullins United Methodist Church
Memphis, TN