5 Ways to Advocate for Public Education

As students begin to return to the classroom, we are reminded of the ever growing needs of our public education system. Communities of faith do have a responsibility to be advocates for our students and the people who work in our schools. Our responsibility is grounded in our moral foundation that all people should be able to flourish and be who God created them to be. It is not, however, grounded in toxic evangelism and the whitewashing power of Christian nationalism that far too often uses the public school systems to funnel toxic theologies and ideologies. Churches and communities of faith are called to foster life giving education while being true to history, science, and facts.

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SETTING THE INNER COMPASS-July 2022

The first poem is by Ada Limón, who this month was appointed the 24th US poet Laureate. The poem, "Instructions on Not Giving Up", is from her National Book Critic’s award-winning book, The Carrying. She celebrates the unfurling of a new leaf, a sign of hope despite “the mess of us”. The second poem, "Kindness", is by Colorado based poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. I just discovered this poet, and I am very happy I did. In the poem below she invites us to ponder the beauty of a tulip years after someone planted it. She invites us to remember how often simple acts of kindness take root and bloom years after they are planted.

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FFPCUSA and MRTI Recommend United Approach to Divestment

We are living amid an existential and devastating climate crisis, demanding a moral and theological response across global institutions. The urgency of this crisis has only escalated since fossil fuel divestment was first introduced at the General Assembly in 2014. At that time and in the years since, there is one thing that Fossil Free PCUSA (FFPCUSA) and the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) have agreed upon: the gravity of the crisis requires an urgent and robust response.

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Abolition and the Cross: Reimagining Society and Salvation through Restorative Justice

I was recently at a book club facilitated by Abolition Apostles, a Christian abolitionist ministry, where we discussed the book The Fall of the Prison: Biblical Perspectives on Prison Abolition by Lee Griffon. Micah Herskind, a Public Policy Associate at the Southern Center for Human Rights and a Christian abolitionist, led that day’s session and said something that has stayed with me since. He was speaking about retributive justice and its connection to the Christian faith and said, “Do we believe in prisons because we believe in Hell or do we believe in Hell because we believe in prisons.”

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