"I hope this event becomes an annual tradition and part of SCC’s DNA,” said Rogelio Paquini, pastor of the West Covina Hills church, of SCC’s recent pastor-teacher summit.
This February, more than 250 SCC pastors and educators gathered for this special all-day meeting. The first of its kind, at least within the last 50 years, the event opened up an important opportunity for dialogue and understanding.
The goals for the day, as outlined by SCC President Velino A. Salazar, were fourfold:
- To better understand the other ministry group.
- To increase collaboration between these two groups.
- To support each other’s ministry.
- To better serve our church families and their mutual communities.
“What I appreciated most is seeing pastors and educators meet together as one and receive the affirmation from conference leadership that we are all working together to shape lives,” said Danny Chan, pastor of the Eagle Rock church. “We all have the common goal of shaping lives, so being able to partner together toward this goal at this event was a strong statement to all of us.”
The day was packed with meaningful interaction. Steve Case, Founder/CEO of Involve Youth Ministry, shared the morning’s worship thought and spearheaded impactful interactive group activities that addressed teamwork and collaboration and were meant to cultivate creative ideas. “I appreciated the early morning breakout sessions,” said Ira Barksdale, pastor of the Miramonte and Maranatha churches. “The questions posed challenges that, if answered honestly, could help in developing transparency and open communication. This is helpful in tearing down barriers of all sorts.”
In the afternoon, as attendees broke out into smaller groups that paired constituent churches and schools, understanding deepened and practical application resulted. “I’m looking forward to implementing a way for our churches and schools to partner together to bless the community in a way that they both can become more active, and even indispensable, in the community,” Chan said.
“I’m in a unique setting,” Paquini noted, “because we share the campus between our church and school. Even though we do activities together for fundraising and Sabbath worship, now we get the chance to plan together how to improve both institutions simultaneously.”
“There was an overwhelming feeling by many that we need to continue to move forward and endeavor to be creative and supportive in the ministry of schools and churches,” said Harold Crook, SCC superintendent of education.
When asked about the anticipated long-term impact of an event like this, Crook responded: “To bring pastors and teachers together into one ministry team in the Southern California Conference. Also, to increase enrollments in our schools and membership in our churches, with schools and churches working together.” This—working together for our common mission—is the ultimate goal.