My devotions this morning encouraged me that in “Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your strength” (Eccl. 9:10, echoing Deut 6:5) and this after I started writing this last night. I suppose, perhaps, I shouldn’t have stopped working on this and instead started playing video games with my son? Haha…
At the ARPA breakfast on Saturday immediately before the Roots AGM (same location, ironically), I chatted with several people from the below associations, trying to figure out where God wants me to be putting to use the resources and desires He has given to me (political understanding and desire to make an impact in these areas). Then it was noted during our Q&A session that there are too many sources, making it difficult to follow what is actually taking place in the government and wider world that affects us as home educators in Alberta. For better or worse, this is true, but that is because of the many different angles being looked at: politics, family, education, law, culture, and others. The question then arose, how can we all stay on the same, up to date, page on these issues? Here are a number of resources I personally follow and recommend looking into, and then I make a proposal at the end on how we may proceed.
Last year at AHEA 2017, and again at CCHE 2018, Ted Byfield spoke to this very issue, and I strongly recommend picking up his books (the 3 small ones, especially). He has talked about needing a Christian voice in the media, as we have largely vacated this scene, and it is true. His response was The Christians, a resource that needs more support, in both reporting and recognition. It is a journal designed to keep Christians informed on the issues from a Christian perspective. I am not sure of its current level of activity, but they do put out a weekly newsletter with some excellent articles to keep you informed.
AHEA: Political Updates
I assume you all know about AHEA, as it is the largest home education association in Alberta (maybe Canada?). They do have a political updates section to their website, and Terry Yaceyko and Shawna Sundal often have great things posted here and on the Facebook group. There is no outgoing email updates, so you will have to actively watch this page yourself.
Associate for Reformed Political Action
I have been following ARPA for the past year or so, and am impressed with what they are doing and what they have accomplished. While the podcast (Lighthouse News) is on hiatus, as the host won his mayoral bid in October, there are regular updates on many issues, legal and political, that are worth paying attention to. Sign up with them on Facebook, YouTube and on their website. One of the best features ARPA provides is their EasyMail system, wherein you select the issue and your postal code, and the system fills in who you need to contact, and can provide an idea of what to write based on the issue at hand.
Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom
The JCCF is a team of lawyers and law professionals fighting for our constitutional rights, as the government continues to ignore the law as written and do whatever they please. They are the ones fighting for us in the courts on things such as Bill 10 & Bill 24 here in Alberta, but are active throughout the nation right up to cases before the Supreme Court. I strongly encourage you to support these fine individuals and their battles, through prayer and funding, as they truly need it. They will keep you apprised of any updates on the issues they are dealing with, should you choose to subscribe to their updates
Parents for Choice in Education
I have been thankful for PCE, Donna Trimble and Theresa Ng and all the work they have done in the fight for our right to educate our children as we, the parents, see fit. Whenever something comes up in AB government, they seem to be on it pretty quick. Subscribe to their newsletter and stay informed on this one.
Home School Legal Defence Association
While I do not follow the HSLDA as religiously as the other sources on this list, they are fully aware of what is going on in Alberta and the rest of Canada and will be there to protect us when the government comes for our rights to raise our own children (I wish I could say this was not a concern, but we’ve all seen where this current government is going). If you do not already have a membership, I suggest you do. If/When the NDP attempt to shut down home education, the more members HSLDA has, the more Albertans they can legally represent in court.
Faith Beyond Belief
While Faith Beyond Belief is not specifically involved in any of the above areas, and is mostly religious in its content, Jojo Ruba and the team here have a lot to offer, and do step up and discuss current issues and how we as Christians should respond. Based here in Calgary, they are a great resource we should all be aware of and connected with. Additionally, their Be Ready conference in March is about Finding God in Science, and could be a great resource for homeschooling kids. (I regret not bringing my 10-year-old to this last year’s event)
It was mentioned that while a simple thread in the existing Roots Google group may be visible to all, it also can get lost in the shuffle. Another option involves creating a new group, be it Roots specific or not would have to be determined. Some time ago I felt the need to create a group specifically focused on political involvement in Calgary, which may not be quite what we’re looking at here, but it may be something I am able to start up and manage.
What do you all want to get out of such a group? A weekly news aggregator to bring all important issues together in one place? A point of communication? An email list people are able to monitor? Whatsapp group? Or simply someone someone who is able to give an informed response to any questions you have (or at least know who to ask)?
I’d like to hear what level of information and involvement other individuals would like, and perhaps will attach a survey in the days ahead, if there is interest. Of course, anyone who has read this far is at least curious, right?