An upcoming event featuring renowned apologist Joe Boot is the result of people from three Ottawa-area faith-based schools collaborating, as they have for some years now.
While the schools don’t have much reason to compete – one’s a high school and the two elementary institutions are quite far apart geographically – they also aren’t allowing inertia or insular thinking to keep them from partnering.
“We’re committed to (this connection),” says Nancy Schoenmaker communications and admissions co-ordinator for Community Christian School in Metcalfe.
“We’re committed to supporting each other and praying for each other and our schools, and encouraging each other.”
Schoenmaker, Redeemer Christian High School promotion co-ordinator Marie Cooper and Ottawa Christian School advancement co-ordinator Virginia Dawson meet several times a year and connect in-between via phone and e-mail.
The November 9 event with Joe Boot is the second large event they’ve put on together; much of their work has entailed co-ordinating joint advertising for all three schools.
The benefits to this collaboration are clear, they say. They’ve benefited from cost-savings, the weight their message gets from having several institutions behind it, more and better ideas and more connections.
Even if they were competing, the awareness they’re looking to raise isn’t so much intended to attract people to this or that school as it is to educate parents on why they should consider Christian education, says Schoenmaker.
“If people become passionate about Christian education then they will go to the closest school,” she says. “It’s not so much about selling a school as (providing) reasons for Christian education.”
Joe Boot’s presentation will be in line with this focus.
Schoenmaker first heard Boot preach an entire sermon on Christian education at a Bible conference and was so refreshed in her commitment she wanted others to hear him too.
“I’d never heard a pastor preach a sermon on Christian education and I found it completely inspiring,” she recalls.
“Both my husband and I were touched that a pastor so articulately and passionately and with a solid biblical basis promoted Christian education in such a setting.”
She adds her hope is that those already resolved about Christian education will find that hearing Boot’s presentation deepens and energizes their commitment — and that others exploring the possibility of Christian education for their children will find new insights and inspiration to bring clarity to their decisions.