A Letter to Wesleyan Families
When Wesleyan was established in 1971, our founders' and leaders' heart was to develop a school with a mission: "To partner with families by providing a biblically-based, college-preparatory education so that students will be equipped to serve Christ and influence the world." Since then, Wesleyan families, alongside our nation, have navigated difficult seasons surrounding events such as the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the Iran Hostage Crisis as well as the Gulf Wars and 9/11—not to mention cities that have experienced unrest, injustices, and violence over the years.
Through these events and others, Wesleyan's leadership has treasured the faithful commitment of our families to uphold our biblical foundation no matter what crisis our nation may be going through. This remains true today.
Aside from God's grace and provision, we have enjoyed this blessing due in part to the fact that we purposefully plant seeds as early as the first moment a new family walks through Wesleyan's doors. Through initial discussions with our admissions office, guidance counselors, and principals, each new family is introduced to the history, culture, and Christian convictions of the school. During the admissions process, we carefully communicate our Mission, Vision, Core Values, and beliefs, and how we choose to practice these principles. In so doing, our goal is to create a unified understanding of what is important to the heart of Wesleyan while introducing standard practices and principles based on God's word for the entire Wesleyan family to embrace in the daily life of our school.
As we stand in the midst of three momentous waves of change both caused by and as part of the Coronavirus pandemic, national unrest, and a highly divisive election year, it is as critical as ever that we hold fast to these principles and the biblical foundation and purpose that Wesleyan was founded on so that every child fully embraces what it means "To Know and Live the Truth."
Seeking God's Truth
Understanding the importance of unity within our community, our leadership collectively works very hard and intentionally to develop close, supportive relationships within the Wesleyan family. We also pay close attention and regularly seek wisdom that is consistent with our beliefs and values as we deal with various issues. It is our desire to teach your children to do the same. But first, they must understand how to apply critical thinking skills and gain knowledge through the filter of God's word.
For this reason, one of eight of our Core Values states … "Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of essential knowledge and skills by the use of critical thinking and integrated application." This one, in particular, has been at the top of our list since last March. We believe the ability to apply knowledge and critical thinking skills is a vital first step in our students' walk of faith and to their 21st-century education, as they too will need to navigate through future times of transition and upheaval.
For Such a Time As This
The statement above brings us to one very important truth: God has sovereignly and precisely placed each family and staff member here, at this time, with the responsibility of raising, teaching, and equipping our children. As followers of Jesus Christ, we also know that God calls us to unity within the Body of Christ, especially in times when the dominant culture demands conformity to its own worldview.
Our School Board, Administration, and Faculty are convinced that this new environment in which we live requires a renewed focus and resolve to stand firm, to abide in Christ, and apply His Word as we interact with one another and represent Christ to those around us.
With the purpose of unity in mind, through your support and our shared Core Values, we are determined to help you and your children with tough and necessary questions like:
- Are we creating division or building unity in our speech and expressions?
- Are our actions making things better or worse?
- Are we conforming to the mind of Christ or being submissive to our personal worldview or bias?
- Are we looking to our politicians or government to meet our spiritual objectives, or God?
- What kind of attention are we seeking through social media posts?
In addition to ...
- How do we best show love, respect, patience, and humility to those we disagree with?
- How do we empathize and respond to injustices that plague a fallen
- How do we create awareness and a safe place to discuss age-appropriate
cultural issues, yet still allow room for respectful disagreement?
- How do we keep our children focused on their faith while the world and much of the media and entertainment industry is focused on dividing and shaming?
- How do we teach to love our neighbors as ourselves while some are hostile to those who display their Christian faith or express traditional values?
- How do we teach our kids to be effective communicators, actively listen,
appreciate differences, offer solutions, and most importantly, being the light in times of adversity?
- How do we best model civil discourse, respecting the law, order, and justice
when much of what our kids see and hear from leaders, athletes, newscasters, and entertainers don't set the example?
And finally ...
- How do we best ensure that our children do not find their main identity in a
particular candidate or political party, professional athlete, or any person of influence or social movement … but in Christ alone?
- How do we best model and teach our kids that embracing their design and purpose is our highest responsibility?
These are all worthy and important questions to ask ourselves as individuals. And as a school committed to partnering with parents to equip your children to influence the world for Christ, it's equally important that we seek God's wisdom and truth in these moments and provide a biblical framework and answers to support their solid foundation in Christ.
Next week, in Part II of "Unity In Christ," we will share specific ways with you that we will continue to walk alongside you and your children as we navigate these days together.
Dr. Rob Brown,
Head of School