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One of the very cool things about being a pastor is that I get asked to participate in all sorts of things, from ground breakings to Presbyterian women’s gatherings. This morning I had the opportunity to participate in a “prayer walk” for the schools and the school year that officially begins tomorrow. Some folks in the community organized this, and I was really kind of excited to see such initiative.

I was asked to pray at one of the schools on the walk, which is not, I guess, anything extraordinary. I prayed for the school, that it might be a safe space for all–a safe space in which to grow and learn and laugh, and even a safe space for the middle schoolers to figure out who they are. I prayed that as they were seeking an identity, that they would find an identity as a beloved child, no matter their home or economic or any other situation. I prayed for the staff and leaders, that they might be filled with passion for the tasks they have been charged with. And then I prayed something that caught me off guard– I prayed that those who gathered and learned and worked in the schools might come to know Christ.

God has been so fully taken out of the schools that I felt really funny praying that. I was just waiting for someone to say “Hey! You can’t say that here!” But I did, and it felt strangely right. While I believe in the separation of church and state, sometimes I think, we’ve gotten too separated. I guess I couldn’t have said that if it had been a school sanctioned event. But it wasn’t, and I did.

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