Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are aware that many of you have supported public education through your parishes for years. We are grateful for all you do. This work has long been a passion of ours as well.

In April of 2014 we officially announced our intention to support vibrant public education for all in South Carolina via a joint pastoral letter. This work is called the South Carolina Bishops’ Public Education Initiative.

This Initiative has two areas of focus: calling as many of our congregations and members as possible into direct relationships with the schools near them and using our office to advocate for legislative and policy decisions that will improve public education. This is our moral responsibility.

In the summer of 2014 the Reverend Susan Heath became the Coordinator of this Initiative. Previously, many of our congregations participated in a survey indicating their work in public education. She used that survey to begin making contacts and to assess what various churches were doing. We are aware that many of you are doing work not reflected in this survey, so it is time to issue another one. This updated information will allow us to take stock of how we are doing and sharpen our strategies going forward. Please follow this link to complete the electronic survey. We would like to have your completed survey by September 15th.

Many of you already bless the students and educators, many others collect school supplies and backpacks to be distributed to children in need when school starts. We encourage every church to bring the needs of public education into worship. Attached are some worship resources from all of our denominations for your use. We hope these will be helpful to those of you who are considering similar work.

Finally, we are delighted to announce the keynote speaker for the Bishops’ Dialogue this year is Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Hrabowski has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and one of the 10 Best College Presidents by Time. He has much to offer to our conversation about excellent education.

The dialogue is open to all. We encourage you to be in prayer about the people in your congregations you wish to invite. Please plan to join us at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral on October 12 for this event. Follow this link for registration information. We plan to share the results from the survey at this event.

Again and always thank you for all you do.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Dr. Herman R. Yoos, III Bishop
South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rev. L. Jonathan Holston, Resident Bishop
South Carolina United Methodist Conference

The Rev. Charlest G. vonRosenberg, Provisional Bishop
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina

The Most Rev. Rebert E. Guglielmone, Bishop
The Catholic Diocese of Charleston

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