Our New Year's Resolutions
At this outset of a brand new year-- and a brand spanking new decade!-- we have a list of resolutions, something of a mission outline for us to pursue.
1. Present our work and message to more and more clergy.
Religious leaders of all faith communities have a preferential attitude toward public education for all children. Our most committed congregational workers are often public school teachers and employees. We will mobilize these ministers!
2. Make local public school assistance an integral part of local church ministry.
We work toward the day when every local church becomes a resource center for every neighborhood public school, providing encouragement and tangible support for every single classroom—all in deference to religious liberty and church/state separation.
3. Encourage every community to fully support their public school & oppose privatization.
Who better than pastors to challenge and motivate community leaders of all fields to get fully behind public education as a provision of God’s Common Good?
4. Expand our network to other states.
Pastors for Children are now in six states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida. We will launch North Carolina in the spring of 2020. We have held organizational meetings in Arkansas and Indiana, and productive conversations with faith leaders in Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia. We need to be in all 50 states!
5. Vote public education in 2020.
We want to make fully-funded public education the number one issue for voters as they go to the polls this election year. We'll be working in key districts to make this happen.
6. Promote good—and block bad—public school policy.
Faith leaders are very influential policy advocates for quality public schools. When a congregational minister makes a phone call, writes an email, conducts a legislative visit, or testifies before a House or Senate committee, they are given a careful hearing. Why? Because they serve congregations! And congregants vote!
7. Pray for our public schools and those who serve them.
We believe our community and neighborhood schools are centers of love for children. Our school teachers and employees are agents of that love and acceptance. We want to be a source of spiritual support and encouragement for them.
Attempts to make public education a private enterprise for personal financial gain have failed. Investing in the public interest is the only way quality education for all children will be provided and safeguarded. We will not stop until this vision is embraced across America.
The poet Mary Oliver’s words challenge us: “That God had a plan I do not doubt./But what if His plan was, that we would do better?” So, here’s to the betterment of God’s world through us!
A blessed New Year to you all!
Rev. Charles Foster Johnson
Executive Director, Pastors for Texas Children