The Promises of God
Dear PTC Leader,
We at Pastors for Texas Children have held you and all church and school servant leaders close in love, appreciation, and prayer during these difficult days of stress, division, disease, and turmoil. Simply put, we cannot remember a season of greater challenge for frontline workers of God's Common Good like you.
Just when a COVID vaccine promised respite from the international pandemic, here comes a sneaky variant that once again crimps our emergence back into open society. You have navigated those impossible waters in both church and school with extraordinary grace and wisdom. We honor you in all your diverse choices, knowing you sought God's direction and chose the best and safest path for your congregations and classrooms.
On top of a disease that has proven deadly for far too many of our fellow citizens, church members, and co-workers, we all find ourselves engaged in a difficult national conversation about racial justice, the moral imperative to establish it as Scripture clearly commands, and the unacceptable delay for so many of our brothers and sisters in doing so.
Both of these cataclysmic events in our state and nation have rocked the most important institutions of civil society: our homes, schools, and faith communities. Pastors and educators have had to receive and absorb the emotion, anger, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty of our church members, parents, and neighbors.
We have watched you. You are guiding all of us with transcendent wisdom and calm. Indeed, what St. Paul calls "the fruit of the Spirit" is produced abundantly in your witness. You have been a model of the non-anxious presence in our midst. You are good shepherds.
You are receiving our children into our community and neighborhood schools with care and compassion. We call these schools "centers of love" because they are where every single child is met with acceptance, encouragement, and provision. Pastors, you are coming alongside these school leaders with affirmation, empowerment, and assistance. It is no exaggeration to say that our public school leaders, and their community faith partners, are literally saving children's lives right now!
You have asserted your witness and amplified your voice with your elected legislators in responsible, clear, and intelligent ways. Make no mistake about it: you are shaping them with God's moral message, whether or not their individual vote reflects it. In this confusing and chaotic 87th Legislature, you once again blocked private school vouchers, secured the release of billions of pandemic relief for public education, limited charter school expansion, and reminded Senate and House members constantly of their sworn duty to "make suitable provision for public free schools" as the Texas Constitution plainly requires and God's Common Good demands.
So, receive now these promises of God through Holy Scripture:
"Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40.31
"Well done, good and faithful servant." Matthew 25.23
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness." 2 Timothy 4.7-8
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people." Galatians 6.9
We are honored to be your partners in the ongoing fight for quality public schools for every Texas child. We have a long way to go for sure. No church and no school is perfect, and no church leader and no school leader is perfect. But, a wise preacher told me a long time ago, "Something doesn't have to be perfect in order to be good."
Press on! The Lord is with you!
Rev. Charles Foster Johnson, Executive Director