by Michelle Bauman
The Teaching 4 Life award recipient should:
- Uphold the sanctity of life in the classroom and outside of it
- Incorporate life issues into content material
- Support life work outside the classroom
- Exhibits care and concern for their students’ lives
- Encourage youth to share the message that every life is valuable because it has been created by God and redeemed by Jesus.
- Be unafraid to confess the truth about the sanctity of life, even when public opinion is opposed to this message, and is able to do so with a Gospel-motivated voice. He or she should actively mentor young people to do the same.
- Advance the mission of Lutherans For Life by equipping his or her neighbors, in particular his or her students, to be Gospel-motivated voices for life.
This year’s Teaching 4 Life Award recipient is an exceptional example of the previous traits. Not only does she gently and effectively uphold all human life publicly and privately through her vocations, but she also actively teaches her students, from fourth grade all the way through high school, the truth that every life is valuable, including their own.
An advocate for life at all ages, this year’s recipient intentionally pairs beliefs with action, abounding in life-affirming work in her church and school. For example, each year she hosts a tea for students, their grandparents, and other older members of the congregation during the school’s Life Week celebration.
In addition, she regularly partners with local nursing home and assisted living facilities by providing age-appropriate ways for elementary, middle, and high school students to engage with and honor their unseen neighbors through artistic drawings, letter writing, and on-site visits filled with hymn sings and conversation time.
And as faculty advisor for her school’s Y4Life Team, Lions 4 Life, she has expanded their life-affirming reach, connecting them with local opportunities to serve such as the pregnancy resource clinic.
But her work doesn’t end there. As a high school English teacher, this year’s recipient helps students wrestle with the life issues they encounter in literature, through the topics they research and write about, and through the hymn texts they are assigned to compose. Even beyond her classroom walls, Christy consistently encourages her students to learn and confess the truth that every life is valuable through opportunities like the Lutherans For Life essay contest and Y4Life Leadership Retreats.
Perhaps a fellow co-worker and nominator from Faith Lutheran school in Plano, Texas describes her best:
“Christy is one of those rare individuals that is a wonderful combination of dedication, passion, love, determination, and sincerity. Her Christ-centered focus shines through in everything that she does. Whether she is teaching students of all ages in the classroom, caring for an ill friend, celebrating family events or interacting with church and school and school staff, she does everything with great love and energy … always to the best of her ability … Christy is passionate about life at all ages and stages, and this shines through in her work, personal life, and beyond.”
I could not agree more.
It is my honor and pleasure to announce LFL and Y4Life’s very first Teaching 4 Life award recipient, Mrs. Christine Rivers.