Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
By: Sarah Smith
It started out innocent enough. I was communicating with the Chess Club members at my sons’ school. (The chess club I started and led.) It was mid-October, and I was sending out an e-mail reminding families of that week’s meeting time. I received this response from one of the parents.
I would like to kindly ask that you do not use a school event or the e-mail to that event to promote your religion. It is my understanding the school does not promote one religion over another. Can you help keep church and state separate? It keeps the schools stronger and prevents the government from telling people how to worship.
Thank you in advance.
Signed by the parent”
My first response was this:
“Not a problem. As a volunteer parent doing the chess club, I am not representing the school but I will respect your wishes.”
This is what was included as a ‘signature’ in all of my e-mails and caused this parent to contact me:
Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin:
God picks you from the patch, brings you in,
and washes all the dirt off you may
have gotten from the other pumpkins.
Then he cuts the top off and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.
Then He carves you a new smiling face and
puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.”
After giving it a little more thought, here is what I sent back within ten minutes of my initial response:
“Actually, I may have changed my mind. I cannot separate being a Christian from who I am. I will however, remove you from the e-mail list. I will try to send home communications in writing from the school as much as possible. Being a volunteer using my personal e-mail and time, I am in no way representing the religious views of the school, or the government, for that matter.”
I won’t go into what is so wrong about the statement made by the other parent, but I will say, I had such a sense of peace after sticking up for my own faith. I wasn’t requiring all chess club members to be Christian. I wasn’t talking all churchy at the club meetings…it was a simple message at the bottom of my emails. I had no idea it would be ‘offensive’ to someone.
Since this happened 7 years ago, I have always had something in my signature line to share, usually a Bible verse related to the season. Most recently, I have had a line promoting my HOGS prints. After reflecting on what happened so long ago, I think it’s time to go back to promoting God’s business instead of my own!
Stand firm and let your light shine!