October 4 and 5, the students had a couple of extra day to enjoy the wonderful weather we have been having. I know some families were able to take a bit of a holiday—camping, travelling, or just taking a day trip. The staff at ACS, meanwhile, joined with over 1000 other educators from BC and Washington for the annual CTABC convention, held in Lynden, Washington. A few of us also took advantage of the beautiful weather and cycled to Lynden. What a glorious way to start the day!
The theme for this year’s conference was “How Do We Love Our Neighbor”, based in part on Isaiah 61. Certainly the practical workshops at the convention are of great value for staff as we seek to provide quality Christian education. However, we were also challenged with the implications of this theme.
The highlight for most of us, I believe, was the two keynote addresses by Tony Campolo. He made the issue of social justice and loving our neighbor come alive with many insights and anecdotes; such as the time he threw a birthday party for a prostitute in a greasy spoon at 3:00 am. Dr. Campolo told us that to understand Isaiah 61, you need to go back to Leviticus and God’s command to hold a year of Jubilee. He called us to be a Jubilee people.
One of my favorite Campolo quotes is that we are not Christians unless our hearts are broken by the things that break the heart of Jesus. In our affluent, sanitized lifestyles I am not sure we are often confronted with the things that break the heart of Jesus, or we choose not to look.
But sometimes we do look, and then we need to act. Anything less is disobedience. The question for us at ACES is what does that look like for 3 to 11 year olds. What are the social justice issues that our children can learn to care about and do something about?I believe one social justice issue that 3 to 11 year olds can care about, and have proven that they can act on, is providing clean drinking water for families in Ethiopia so that girls can go to school rather than walking many hours a day to collect water. The success of our Run for Water participation is surely one of which it can be said, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon us, to proclaim good news to the poor.” God be praised!