Well, it means something different for our various Orchard families - and that's a good thing! Especially this time of year, one question asked of the pastor-elders is this: "Does our church leadership have a view on home schooling, Christian schooling, or public schooling?"

That is a very important question. It may come as a surprise that we DO have an official view on the subject. Our view is this: we adamantly do NOT take a position! We believe this is a matter of parental conscience, something for each family to decide.

In our day, this issue has unfortunately caused great disunity in many churches. We want to do everything we can to protect our church from that. We believe all sincere Christian parents want basically the same thing: to raise children who want to follow Jesus into adulthood. The decisions that parents make regarding the education of each of their children vary according to many factors. We pastor-elders want to foster an environment of respect amid this diversity.

In fact, there is a healthy diversity among even the children of your pastor-elders! Some are attending public school, some Christian school, and some are home schooled.

One resource that all the pastor-elders enthusiastically promote is an audio clip by Carey Hardy. He provides a very helpful analysis of the pros and cons of each of these educational choices. Hardy has employed all three of these options at various times for his children. We believe listening to this resource will aid decision making regarding each of your children. We pray it also serves to develop humility about our own choices in this matter, while we grow in respect for the reasons other Christian parents may choose a different path. Most important is Hardy's plea for unity at the end of his presentation. This unity is at the heart of what your pastor-elders want for our church as well!

We want to encourage all of you to be the best, godly parents you can be, whatever your education choice. We pray for your Orchard kids every week!

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