Church, School Leaders Continue to Plan Positive Change

Educational leaders joined church leaders for another luncheon recently at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, where attendees sought to refine action items intended to create positive change in the community.
The first meeting in December was focused on better understanding the challenges facing today’s youth and identifying ways the local churches can be more helpful to students and families. The group plans to reconvene again later this year to continue the conversation.
After the most recent meeting, the Rev. Chuck Osburn said: “Everyone seems to be getting more comfortable with each other and educational leaders were engaging directly with each other, discussing how to empower and enable the young people in this community, and providing excellent feedback to the church leaders. I’m really excited about the willingness of these people to come together and work together on behalf of the families in this community. I’ve never seen this kind of collaboration in my many years in La Cañada.”
The conversation included how schools were handling the March 14 walk-out and ideas for enabling young people to have voices without putting them in harm’s way. Discussion also touched on how to promote inter-school activities and friendships; existing resources and platforms that can be used to benefit teenagers after school; overlapping messaging that can be shared through school channels and church channels to benefit families and how to effect positive change without increasing time demands on students and families.
Representatives from Flintridge Preparatory School, La Cañada Unified School District and La Cañada High School, St. Francis High School, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, the Community Prevention Council, the YMCA, St. Bede the Venerable Church, La Cañada Presbyterian Church, First Church of Christ Scientist, St. George’s Episcopal Church, La Cañada Congregational Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Lutheran Church in the Foothills were present and shared ideas and experiences.
“The families here are wonderful. The schools here are wonderful. The extra-curricular programs here are wonderful. However, we all face significant challenges — students, parents, community leaders, everyone — and I believe that if we work together we can accomplish more good than if we work separately,” said the Rev. Antonio Cacciapuoti, who has started gathering church leaders for lunches in an effort to create inter-faith support and unity.

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