Contact: Finn Laursen, CEAI, 440-250-9566
MEDIA ADVISORY, April 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- "Churches were the birthplace of public education in this country," says Finn Laursen, Executive Director of Christian Educators Association International. "It's time the church retakes its historic accountability for our nation's children."
"Many precautions schools have taken, and should continue to take, focus on outside threats to the safety of the children. However, as we learned from Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, and other horrifying examples, the shootings were committed by angry and hopeless students. The consistent trait of these violent killers is that they were angry at their peers and the culture and felt so hopeless they were willing to commit atrocities, knowing it would end their own lives."
Why should our churches take back the responsibility of influencing our children? "Followers of Jesus Christ have the hope that the young killers were missing," says Laursen. "We need to reject the notion that the church is irrelevant to the educational process by responding to one of the greatest challenges of our lifetimes."
"Churches should reach out to their schools and offer support wherever needed. Churches can provide volunteers to work and serve within the local school culture as well as be activists on staff, on committees, and in leadership roles on boards of education. In California, for example, a large church 'adopted' two local schools, participating in fix-up days, tutoring, and security programs. In Ohio, a church released its pastor to spend time monitoring suspended students on campus as a way of developing positive relationships. They have made a difference that Christians should be making everywhere."
"Christian students should do the same and take their faith outside the four walls of the church. In meeting with the mother of the Columbine High School martyr Rachel Scott, I learned that even Rachel felt the lack of Christian fellowship at school and wished she could find Christian friends at school," says Laursen.
"Christian educators also must come out of their 'faith closets' and reach out. As a professional association of Christian educators in public schools, CEAI encourages its members to befriend those in their schools who appear on the 'outside' of the mainstream school culture, those being 'picked on,' bullied, or teased, ignored, feeling alone, hurting, and without hope. We need to be willing to share the hope we have within through our personal relationship with our Lord. Our vision statement represents this strategy clearly: To demonstrate God's love and truth to the educational community."
"CEAI is willing to support the efforts of any church that will take the challenge. CEAI stands ready to provide training, resources, and even a website to post prayers for every school in America at www.raiseyourhand.us ," says Laursen.