Find the latest newsletter below, as well as links to the previous 10 newsletters at the bottom.

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Happy end of summer, mamas!

Whether you're soaking in every sun-drenched moment or counting down the days until school starts again (or a combination of both!), this newsletter is for you. So lean back in a lounge chair, grab a slice of watermelon, and read on.
Grateful and Expectant
by Katie Chesney

A year ago, we had our official “Launch” of Gathered for Guilford.

I vividly remember pacing around my house nervously, helping to put out fires like “I can’t get the video to play!” and “Where should we set up the t-shirts?” All the while, I wondered, “Lord, is this really happening? Are people going to actually show up?” It was. And they did.

Nearly fifty women sat in my backyard that night, under twinkly lights and a summer sky, as I recounted the hazy vision God had given me the year before: to start an organization of and for Christian public school moms in our area. Together with our core team, the 5 women who linked arms with me and worked to make Gathered for Guilford a reality, we shared its mission: to point moms to Jesus, to connect them with one another, and to help them live missionally in our county’s schools. The night was celebratory, hopeful, and only the beginning.

As we look back over the past year, we feel grateful. The Lord has faithfully drawn together hundreds of women from 67 different schools through the various aspects of Gathered; our four county-wide gatherings, the monthly newsletter, our Facebook and Instagram presence, Coffee & Conversation get-togethers, Gathered volunteer teams, Serve our Schools Saturday, and more.

In person and online, we remained centered on God’s truth as we tackled topics relevant to life as a public school mom, like testing and grades, racism and injustice, and kids battling anxiety.

God built new friendships, ignited passions, challenged mindsets, and encouraged hearts. In the words of one Gathered mama: “Being light in our schools can be lonely, this forum reminds me that we are doing the right thing in the long run for our children and for the kingdom of God.”

As we look forward to the year to come, we are expectant. After spending much of our first year building and encouraging our Gathered community of women, we are now able to shift more towards equipping these women to impact Guilford County schools for the Kingdom of God.

Surrounded by both the beauty and brokenness of our schools, each of us is uniquely gifted and positioned to make a difference for Christ in those spaces. So, this year, we hope you'll join us as we look deeper into what it means to be "salt and light", why we're called to it, and how we can live out that calling.

"Though our lives feel ordinary an small, we're compelled by the possibility of making a difference where the problems loom large. We want to offer the hope of Christ in a world that feels increasingly fractured and gloomy. We believe we can be world shakers from our own little corners, where there are crumbs on the floor and no righteous plan for the dinner hour barreling toward us. We're growing desperate to experience the mess of the gospel, trading our tight reins and safe ways for the mystery and mayhem of God's kingdom making it's way down." -Shannan Martin

Join us THIS Monday night as we sit around a living room and chat about this eye-opening, heart-shifting book
The First "Serve Our Schools Saturday"
 
When we asked Foust Elementary principal Merrie Conaway how Gathered for Guilford might serve her school on a Saturday morning in July, beautification was at the top of her list. The physical environment teachers and students encounter everyday matters and the old yellow paint in the cafeteria was in need of a fresh look. Gathered moms (and kids!) painted those walls a clean bright blue and, with every stroke of paint, Foust's 400 students and staff were shown God's love in a subtle yet evident way. Stay tuned for the next Serve our Schools Saturday!
some faves & tips that are too good not to share
Advice on the summer to fall transition
The Lazy Genius (a.k.a. Kendra Adachi, a fellow Guilford Co. public school mom) offers us hope for the month of August in her latest podcast: Present Summer, Prepared Fall. With helpful ideas on things like routines and school supplies, Kendra assures us that, "You can stay connected to right now as you make later easier."
Back to school shopping made easy(-er)

If shopping for school supplies (GCS K-5 list here!) feels more stressful than special, here's a tip: order all the run-of-the-mill items like pencils and notebook paper through the Walmart grocery app or the Target app (lifesavers in general, btw), and then drive up later that day or the next and they'll bring your supplies to your car! FOR FREE. Then, for all the items your kids actually care to pick out in person (lunchboxes, notebooks, etc), you can do a short, fun shopping trip together. 

A trick to keep backpacks off the floor

Here's an easy solution for curbing after-school chaos that anyone can DIY: pick up some strong Command hooks and attach them to the back of a closet door or any open wall that's convenient to where the kids walk in the door. If you're up for a slightly more involved plan (that doesn't include a door), check out this "backpack drop zone" idea as well. This works for lunchboxes inside a pantry or cabinet door as well!

And, because you know it's true...

Until next time, sisters.

...[We] pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  {Eph 3:17-19}

p.s. Heads up! As you do your back-to-school shopping, throw in a few extra containers of antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, or baby wipes if you can. We will be collecting these at our first event on September 9th to pass along to teachers!






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