What Do Gratitude, Poverty, OG, and Sabbatical Have in Common?

Ellen Clark, Director of Christian Education at FPC, shares her experience from Sabbatical

They all converged in the last six weeks. It began with genuine gratitude. I thank this congregation for the meaningful sabbatical that you provided. The past six weeks were filled with exploration, growth and affirmation. The timing was perfect and the results confirming. How so?

Several years ago, we brought a speaker to FPC from Columbus, to speak on poverty. Her words of “solidarity not charity”, “allies not helpers”, still resonate. She also noted how important education is as a step out of poverty. (Cue in OG).

Over the years, I have also heard life changing stories about Orton-Gillingham (OG), a tutoring approach to help children who struggle with reading. The results have been impactful, but cost prohibitive to those without means. (There is a connection).

Because of your generous gift of a sabbatical, I was able to take a 6 week intensive training in OG. I was able to see, first hand, how the one-on-one tutoring, of sequential decoding skills, positively affect children who do not learn to read in the conventional classroom. I also had time to reflect on how to incorporate this training as a ministry to children without means, who live in
Licking County.

As they say, this is the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to share. (There was weekend time to camp, hike, spelunk, spend time at the lake, and help my daughter and her fiancé plan their wedding)!

The biggest take away for now is Thank You. Thank you for the opportunity to step away, to rest, to recreate, to reenergize, and to reimagine. What comes next is yet to unfold, but I am confident it will. And, I am grateful.