Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak. Exodus 4:12 (see also Exodus 4:10-12 and 1 Corinthians 12:29-31)

A number of years ago, a high school English teacher named Mr. Roach gave an undersized, somewhat bookish young man a gift which would last for the rest of his (my) life—the ability to believe in my own capability and speak in public with confidence. Acting on his own initiative, the teacher formed a Speech and Debate Club and led a small group of students to speech tournaments, coaching and encouraging them to improve their performances. Later that year, during summer vacation, the teacher gave his own time to help two of the students prepare for the fall Debate season. He showed us how to research a subject (in the days before the internet), how to organize that information, and how to conduct ourselves during a debate. His manner was calm and controlled, yet he was enthusiastic about his work with us and we responded positively. Mr. Roach could be classified an “ordinary saint” but in my eyes he will always be extraordinary. I have never forgotten him or what his gift has meant to me.

Almighty and eternal God, we ask your blessing on all teachers, everywhere and at all times. Jesus lived the life of a teacher, demonstrating the love, fortitude and patience demanded by that work. We know that it is through your grace that they can be successful and we thank you for that gift to them and to those of us who benefit from their work.    

Dave Weneck

About the Contributor

Dave Weneck is a long-time Ruling Elder at Nazareth and a long-term Mobile Meals delivery driver. He has also served three years on the Committee on Ministry and three years on the Examination Commission of Presbytery.