Welcome! Here's what's happening:
Monthly Meeting at the Belo
We meet at the Belo at noon on the third Thursday of each month. It is a great encouragement for all who attend. We hope you can join us!,
We had an excellent presentation by John Seago, Legislative Director for Texas Right to Life, on August 21st on legal principles used to craft pro-life legislation and to decide which proposals to support.
We hope you can attend our September 18th luncheon, for which our speaker will be Jon Edmonds, the Executive Director of Movement Day Greater Dallas, a movement that encourages, equips and mobilizes marketplace, non-profit, church and ministry leaders in the city. In January 2014, the first Movement Day Greater Dallas was held and attracted 1,400 of the area’s most distinguished leaders who assembled from a wide variety of churches, agencies and organizations throughout the city. It was the first effort to replicate the successful Movement Day New York City model in another major urban center. Since that time, people in collaborative groups have continued to meet and work together to bring city transformation through a gospel movement to the area. Movement Day Greater Dallas is set to meet again January 2015. Come learn from a servant leader how we can make a difference in our community.
Inner City Student Mentoring Opportunity
I believe that God has provided us an exceptional service opportunity.
We have a serious problem. As Thomas Paine said in The American Crisis, “These are the times that try men’s souls . . ..” In Dallas, we have:
- Nearly 90 percent of DISD graduates can’t start college without some form of remedial education in core subjects.
- 97% of children in South Dallas live in single parent homes.
- Extremely high rates of incarceration for males of color who do not finish high school.
The tragedy in Ferguson has triggered warning signs that we must heed. Here’s just a sampling:
- The need for “Unwritten Rules for Raising a Black Son” as reported on CNN. Many black parents now believe that they must instruct their sons to be extra cautious around others, especially the police. They believe that the population as a whole considers young black males with so much suspicion that discrimination is common. That is a tragedy for ALL black boys, not just the ones who are raised in stable homes and well trained.
- The Huey P. Newton Gun Club felt the need to hold a march this week in South Dallas to educate others on the right to carry weapons to protect themselves from the police, as reported in Thursday’s Dallas Morning News.
We know the solution.
The issues listed above are symptomatic of dysfunction at the family level—life skills and basic truths are not being taught in the home. Despair sets in and poor choices are made. Inner city children need, and we are instructed 1 Corinthians 13 to provide, love.
Envision what you want the Metroplex to look like in 10 to 20 years. Envision our having a city with far less crime, reduced racial tension and a greater sense of physical security for everyone. In other words, a metroplex where we do NOT have the situations listed above.
We need to get into our inner city schools and impart the unchangeable truths, fundamental values and disciplines that can help these kids be successful.
God has provided us an outstanding opportunity to mentor and encourage where there is great need.
At our August 21st meeting, we launched an initiative to have members and friends of CLS (and their legal colleagues, paralegals, secretaries and families) volunteer as facilitators for a new student leadership program in DISD schools--CLAY Student Leadership. CLAY is an acronym for caring, loving all youth. We will teach classes that meet for only 30 minutes every other week. There will be about 25 students per class. You can team teach with two others, but the class materials can be taught by only one teacher.
I am convinced that we can positively transform the lives of students and parents in at-risk communities through leadership training using materials provided by CLAY. Based on Biblical principles, the curriculum has proven effective in decreasing maladaptive behavior of at-risk students and increasing the effectiveness of “at-promise” students. Through CLAY Student Leadership, students and families can find hope and purpose, and students gain the practical tools to achieve their dreams.
Executive Director Abel Lopez, formerly a youth pastor for 18 years, developed the program and supporting materials including excellent Teacher’s Guides, which we will use along with audio visual materials. We will make this program even better with our participation. More information is available at www.claystudentleadership.org. Many education experts see the value of CLAY. All students in Bryan Adams High School grades 9-11 will be enrolled and many DISD middle schools are participating, but they need teachers for many of these opportunities.
No matter how busy you are, you probably can do this!
The time needed for you to participate is extremely small compared to the impact you can have on our inner city youth. The lesson itself is only 30 minutes long. Team teaching allows you the flexibility to teach when your schedule allows (from once each 2 weeks to as little as once each 6 weeks). You will need to undergo a training session of about two to three hours and DISD will require a background check to get you a hall pass to go into the schools unescorted, but we’ll handle that. Once trained, the preparation time is minimal due to the excellent materials. The in-school classes will be conducted between September and March.
There is another benefit. As you learn the materials, you will find that a lot of it is applicable to your workplace and your family. You can teach this program to your children and grandchildren—it’s that good.
We have a duty to love and serve those in need.
1 Corinthians 13 calls us to love one another (agape love):
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Agape love is not for those who merit it, but for those who need it—no matter their status or appearance. Recall the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. There, Jesus points out that the person who truly loves his neighbor does not pass him by if he is not very attractive (there, he had been robbed, stripped and left half dead). Two did pass him by, but the Samaritan offered aid. Only the Samaritan loved his neighbor as God expects. This program may take you outside your customary parts of town and your “comfort zone,” but we must go where we are needed.
How to Participate.
Pray about whether God is calling you to this strategic ministry. Please decide as soon as you can if you want to join, as we want to establish as many teams as early as we can. Otherwise, you’ll be substituting, which is good but not as good as staying with the same class all year long.
To sign up, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email you the application. We’re working on more training dates, so sign up with your preferred times and we’ll work something out.
Thanks for your consideration and may God bless.
HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON!
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