On August 11, St. Paul’s Anglican Church/Canterbury Christian School in Los Altos Hills, California, hosted its first Northern California Christian Reconstruction Meetup event. The new rector/headmaster, Rev. Steve Macias, has been a longterm friend of Chalcedon and an avid student of R.J. Rushdoony’s books and materials. So, it was with great pleasure after he assumed his new position in May of 2018 that we agreed to a joint sponsorship of the event to bring together like-minded Reconstructionist folks from around the San Francisco Bay Area.
What constitutes a successful event? A meeting is successful if people leave energized and inspired to increase their faithful service to the Kingdom of Christ. People from around the Bay Area gathered to hear Mark Rushdoony, Steve Macias, and me explore the topic: The Future of Christian Education and Why It Matters. Each brought a different slant to the topic and each speaker received a warm and enthusiastic response. One person commented, “I just wish they all had more time to talk!”
Christian day-school educators were present, as were homeschooling parents. Moreover, as one would expect at such gatherings, there were plenty of little ones. Some are put off with the noise that often accompanies children. I was not and am not. After all, the future we were discussing had everything to do with these young ones in attendance. How rich an experience to know that families gave up a Saturday to learn more about the importance of a deliberate and systematic Christian education.
Each lecture was recorded live on Facebook by Darlene Rushdoony and the videos are available on the Chalcedon Facebook page. Mark’s talk focused on the “big picture” of Christian education’s past, present, and future, with an emphasis on his father’s work in the pioneering effort. My talk followed as I emphasized the need for Christian day school families and homeschooling families to work together, recognizing each as on the same side of the battle to win the hearts and minds of our children. Many were surprised at such an orientation and afterwards shared how gratified they were to hear this perspective. Steve Macias’s talk concluded the morning session as he discussed the practical ways that faith is incorporated into the lives of students at Canterbury, highlighting Dorothy Sayer’s ideas of the trivium.
Lunch followed with a chance for old and new friends to spend time together. Afterwards, the group heard from Chalcedon’s vice-president Martin Selbrede (via a remote feed), who discussed the need for Christians not to be thwarted when they are marginalized or deplatformed in the public square. He pointed out that Chalcedon’s founder, R. J. Rushdoony, had experienced similar treatment but chose to focus on his mission and calling rather than be too concerned with his opponents and naysayers. He stressed that, with a firm reliance on the rightness of our mission, the people of God would see the victory both in time and in eternity.
Subsequent to Martin’s message, Jeremy Walker of Grace Community Schools in southwest Florida shared with the group their newest offering, Preschool in a Box. This is a complete operations and curriculum program designed to lay out all the details for Christian entrepreneurs to take advantage of the huge opportunity available with so many parents needing daycare and preschool for their children. His presentation was detailed, and he offered those listening access to him personally for any questions or advice. He also announced that 25 of these products have been donated to Chalcedon as a way to help raise funds for the ministry. You can learn more about this at our online store at ChalcedonStore.com.
People stayed long after the meeting officially ended. Books were purchased and I learned subsequently that a new preschool is forming as a result of the gathering, with one of the attendees assuming the role as the lead teacher.
Meetups are an important vehicle for long-term supporters and newcomers to the Reconstructionist perspective to meet and interact. My husband and I were overjoyed that long-term Chalcedon Underwriters were present. Two in particular, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Voss back in 1984 were the individuals instrumental in steering a newly converted couple (my husband and me) in the direction of R.J. Rushdoony’s Institutes and the ministry of Chalcedon. There will always be a special place in our hearts for the honesty and care they demonstrated in helping us see the applicability of God’s law-word to every area of life and thought.
As the person in charge of the planning, promotion, and execution of the day’s events, I left tired but extremely satisfied. I hope that more Chalcedon supporters will be inspired to have similar meetups in their area, making use of the technology available for Chalcedon staff to visit with those gathered, remotely if need be. Should you be interested, contact me at and[email protected] and in the Subject line include Future Meetup.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].