BY: MELISSA REDEKOP, ACS BOARD MEMBER
I am flawed, imperfect, and at times, painfully aware of it. One of my biggest fears in taking on my role on the ACS School Board and for the board with our SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) advisory policy team was that Satan would use my failings to undermine God’s agenda for our community.
At times, I have wanted to resign, put aside this responsibility that I feel God put before me, as a result of my imperfections being spotlighted! I say things I shouldn’t, I do things I shouldn’t, or don’t say or do what I should have. Some of you know this all too well! Growing up there was a strong push to appear perfect, hide my failings and vulnerabilities. Through many avenues, I am learning that imperfection, and acknowledgement of it, allows us to grow and be stronger. And vulnerability IS strength. It promotes strength for others and with others. This is a lesson I am still learning and one that will likely continue throughout my time on earth.
Taking The First Step
As most of you know, a number of us within our community here at ACS have dedicated time, energy and lots of prayer into the topic of SOGI and SGA (Same Gender Attraction) as it pertains to our mission here at our school. This has not been done lightly, and this was specifically chosen to be proactive rather than reactive. We have seen and heard many stories of how being reactive has played out for many different schools and communities who were not blessed with the opportunity to react in any other way. This is something we are very thankful for and remain humble about.
Watching these leaders respond to their communities and to those in need, has inspired us and further fueled us to engage in this topic, and to do so in our very best ability. We believe we are doing just that. What has become apparent to me is that this could be used to divide our community.
We have seen it happen.
In that community division, what is really happening is that the community of God is being weakened and undermined. Satan wins. When he divides us, when he creates anger and division, he wins and the body of Christ and our message to the world is damaged. We, in our human-ness and brokenness allow him to show the world we are no different than anyone else in the world. We do not want this for our community. We strive to show the world through our actions and service that we are different; that we love those around us despite our difference in opinions.
When my husband, Steve and I first walked into ACES to meet with Roy and do our tour, we immediately felt at home. We had a peace in that moment that affirmed this was where God wanted us. We have created a family here and love our community. It is precious to us as I know it is precious to many of you as well. This is where and with whom we belong. A community who loves and supports our children with God’s love and discipline.
It is my prayer through topics such as this, we can show the world that we are different. That we have something different—Jesus! That we can disagree and still love each other. Not in the way the world loves, without absolutes, and the raising up of self over each other; but in the way Christ loved us, all sinners, redeemed by Him. He loved and showed love to those who were the lowest of society: prostitutes, tax collectors, and his enemies—those who literally sought his death with voraciousness.
That is what we are called to do: LOVE those in need and LOVE our neighbours, within and outside of our direct community.
Please don’t get me wrong. This is just as much a reminder to myself, as it is to our community—maybe more so—as it is something that God has been bringing to my attention and showing me parts of myself that I, frankly, don’t like to see and are…ugly. I am on the path of grace, as much as any of you. I pray that you will hear what you need to hear, from God—not from me—and that He will use it to bring us together in this time we live in and for His purpose. It is my prayer that our community can rise as one who sticks together and supports one another in times of disagreement! I believe we can do that—for His glory and not for our own! I am so excited to be a part of this community while we wrestle with such important topics.