For the third consecutive year, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) encourages local congregations to observe MLH Sunday as a day of reflection and to celebrate the strong relationship between the healthcare system and local faith communities.

“Since beginning in 2018, which was our Centennial year, hundreds of Mid-South churches have recognized MLH Sunday with special prayers, music and scripture,” said Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lewis, Director of Community Partnerships for MLH’s Mission Integration Division. “Leaders across our health system have also attended worship services, delivered sermons and offered messages to local congregations.”

Unlike in past years when MLH Sunday was designated on a specific day, churches can select any Sunday before the end of the year to observe as their own MLH Sunday.

There’s an additional component to MLH Sunday this year. With many Memphis children struggling with their return to school, MLH is also asking congregations to assist the children of Shelby County whose education has been interrupted by COVID-19. Congregations can support BookNook, an innovative, effective technology-based literacy platform that improves literacy skills of thousands of children in our community.

In partnership with The Urban Child Institute, Shelby County Schools and the Methodist Healthcare Foundation, MLH launched BookNook learning sessions at sites across Memphis last year. These sessions, which are offered in after school programs at churches and community centers, will expand to Shelby County Schools this fall.

“The results are very encouraging,” said Lewis. “Last summer, ninety five percent of students who used BookNook either improved or maintained their reading level. During the school year, the average student gained the equivalent of 1.3 grade levels in reading aptitude. Now, with all the interruptions to school, it’s more important than ever to support our children. MLH is expanding this successful program to meet this unprecedented need, and we hope that congregations will join us in this ministry.”

For more on MLH Sunday, please visit methodisthealth.org/MLHSunday or contact Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lewis at jonathan.lewis@mlh.org.

To support BookNook with a donation, text MLHSunday to 41444.