preschools

Covering Methodist preschool kerfuffle, Washington Post gives readers just one side

Covering Methodist preschool kerfuffle, Washington Post gives readers just one side

There's this preschool, you see, that's housed in a United Methodist congregation in Bethesda, Maryland, one of the tony suburbs which seem to ring Washington, D.C.

For years, we're told by The Washington Post, the school was rather secular and all was well. Parents pitched in to help run the "cooperative" nursery school, and everyone, with or without a religion, felt welcome.

Now, however, the United Methodist pastor of the United Methodist congregation that sponsors the Concord-St. Andrew’s Cooperative Nursery School wants to teach the children enrolled there about the Christian faith.

Cue the scrupulously balanced Washington Post story on all this, headlined, "‘A breach of trust’: A preschool, a church and a change in mission."

Wait, "balanced"? Not exactly:

A small preschool in Bethesda has a big problem on its hands, and God -- or at least teaching about God -- is at the center of it.
For as long as anyone can remember, the Concord-St. Andrew’s Cooperative Nursery School has been educating young children without including much, or anything, in the way of religious instruction, say numerous parents at the school, some of whom attended when they were children. That secular approach was fine with many at the close-knit school, where families and teachers come from a range of religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds and find harmony in their divergent viewpoints.

Comes now the Rev. Sue Brown, a United Methodist cleric of more than 20 years' service in the Washington, D.C., metro area, who has been pastor at Concord-St. Andrews since 2014. Because the school is a ministry of the church -- it says so on the website linked above -- Brown has instructed Amy Forman, who directs the school, to incorporate Christian teaching into daily lesson plans. Religious ministries tend to do this sort of thing.

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My response to the election, the news media and my alleged 'blanket defense of journalists'

My response to the election, the news media and my alleged 'blanket defense of journalists'

Nineteen days until the election, it's getting testy out there, huh?

(This aside is for my editor Terry Mattingly because I'm about to embed a bunch of tweets, and he worries in these cases that readers won't realize I'm eventually going to make a real point. So, yes, keep scrolling down, and I promise to say something by the end that will rock your world. Or not. But either way, I won't charge you.)

On Twitter, I follow a wide array of journalists, ministers and other folks highly active in the two worlds in which I spend so much time — news and religion.

On the one hand, my journalist friends are frustrated with critics lumping them all together as the evil news media. A few of those friends retweeted this tweet, which made me smile.

My friend Steve Lackmeyer, a longtime reporter for The Oklahoman, joked in response to that tweet.

On the other hand, some of the stereotypes that many apply to the news media have roots in legitimate concerns, the kind we often address here at GetReligion:

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