As we approach the first full week of summer (according to the calendar) and with temperatures continuing to register in the high nineties, it may feel like it’s too early to start talking about ‘Back to School’ plans.   But in the life of Lakewood UCC, it is time to start preparation for our annual Rose Stein International Elementary School supply drive to benefit the students at this nearby school in our service area.    For the past few years,  The Faith in Action board has been a partner of Rose Stein Elementary where approximately 77% of the students enrolled are economically disadvantaged.  Homelessness can be an issue for several of the students and their families. Needless to say, school supplies are difficult to secure when housing and food are questionable.  Each of us will have the opportunity to provide support to these students as they head back to school in August.   Anticipating this year’s drive, members of the FIA board met with the school liaison to determine how we could effectively engage in more intentional giving.  Each teacher from Kindergarten through Grade Six was asked what they had the most need for.  As a result, this collection effort will look a little different than that of previous years. This year we will ask our congregation for support by either choosing to sponsor two students per grade level by filling a backpack with supplies or donating general items for classroom use. Among the items we will be collecting are composition books, folders, glue sticks, markers, crayons, scissors, disinfectant wipes, and Kleenex. The complete list will be posted in the Narthex.    Our school supply drive will kick off on Sunday, July 7, and run through July 21. We appreciate all your support as we put our collective faith in action.