Periodically I receive a copy of the ACSI magazine for Christian School Educators. This month, I opened up to an article called “Unity, Not Uniformity” that was written by Joel Westa, the president of CSI (Christian Schools International) which is another organization that supports Christian schools. The only basic difference that I am aware of between ACSI and CSI is that CSI members usually come from a more reformed background. This means they tend to lean more toward Calvinism than some of the other schools. (That’s a whole topic in and of itself – but I won’t go there now.) CSI has been in operation for almost 100 years and ACSI for 40. For all this time, the two have operated separately, even though they have had the same basic mission and goals of supporting Christian schools.
When I saw Joel Westa’s name, I ran over to see my husband. I said, “is this ‘is this our Joel Westa?’” You see, Greg roomed with Joel at The King’s College 40 years ago. What’s also interesting is that the president of ACSI, Dan Egeler, was also at The King’s College with us at that time. Joel said in his article that Dan was even in his wedding party. God brought these two old friends back together to be able to put aside the differences in the two organizations so that they could sign a joint membership agreement that will benefit the schools that support.
This reminded me of the school where my husband and I served prior to coming to Vienna. We began our teaching career at a Christian school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Over 20 years later, we returned to Lancaster to a different Christian school in the area. This school was founded by a charismatic church, while our first school was much more along the reformed line, as is CSI. Over the years, the two had begun to have more similarities than differences. While we were there, these two schools merged to form a united Christian school that could better serve the community. It took the putting aside of minor doctrinal issues and letting go of some dearly-loved traditions for the sake of unity within the Body of Christ.
It excites me when I see unity carried out through mergers and joint agreements. It also saddens me when I see divisions among believers. Maybe I should save that topic for next week.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.