Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

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6 Ways to Update Your Child Protection Policy

If you have been on social media in the last few days, you received an update to a privacy policy. In the wake of Facebook’s lack of protecting users’ information, privacy and users’ protection has been a hot topic. There has been an active attempt to assure users that their information is indeed protected.

But it has not just been on social media. Websites like Etsy, GoDaddy, and WordPress have also been providing the same updates. Thanks to Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which has been described as a massive overhaul of online privacy. 

What about the church?

Since the 1996 General Conference in the United Methodist Church, local churches have been encouraged to develop and follow a Child Protection Policy (CPP). This ensures that practices are in place to protect children and teens, volunteers, staff, and the church.

Here are six ways to let members and visitors know that your Policy is up-to-date.

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The Yoda Verses: Anger Leads to Hate

The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why do you look so resentful?” (Genesis 4:6, CEB)

The Jedi Master Yoda warns both Aiken and Luke Skywalker about anger. Yoda tells Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

Someone should have warned Cain.

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Remind Us, Lord – A Prayer

There was another school shooting recently, this time in Santa Fe, Texas. I was out-of-town and found out from Megan who texted me the news. Even though we are parents of a toddler, the anxiety that a school shooting creates is not lost on us.

According to a recent Washington Post article, the Santa Fe shooting was not the only one that week. In fact, there has been a large number of school shootings and threats of shootings in 2018. Another article from the Washington Post reports that more children have been killed by school shootings this year than deployed service members.

And while I’m in favor of some action happening to discuss the various issues related to school shootings, I found myself praying. I share with you my prayer and invite you to pray with me.

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Book Review: Harvey’s Hideout

Harvey’s Hideout, Russell Hoban, Plough Publishing, 2018. 

Harvey Muskrat and his sister, Mildred, find themselves in a continual feud.

Originally published in 1969, Russell Hoban’s classic, much like Bread and Jam for Frances or Charlie the Tramp, Harvey’s Hideouthas a hint of realism. Whether muskrats or humans, siblings fight. Both siblings have their lesser qualities, which seem to be the entry of frustration with the other. Harvey is inconsiderate, while Mildred is bossy.

But, as Father Muskrat reminds them, it does not mean that they are “stupid and no-good” or “mean and rotten.”

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Book Review: Liam Takes a Stand

Liam Takes a Stand, Troy Wilson, Owlkids Books, 2017.

Liam loves his older brothers, Lister and Lester. The brothers are twins who are competitive with one another. They strive to outdo the other.

Liam, however, just wants to play.

Liam wants to be with his brothers so badly, that when they each open their own lemonade stand, he offers to work for them. Even for free. But his brothers reject his offer.

Instead, Liam takes on various odd jobs in the community, from walking dogs to cutting grass. When Mrs. Redmond pays him with a basket of apples, it inspires an innovative idea. While his older brothers were trying to attract larger crowds, Liam opens an apple juice stand.

Pretty soon, Liam’s stand takes all of his brother’s business, and they go into debt. They end up coming to their little brother asking for a job. Liam hires them to work and to play.

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