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Shepherds' Symposium Tour 2014

Family Heritage Alliance is pleased, once again, to present our annual Shepherds’ Symposium Tour. The 2014 tour will feature keynote speaker Dr. Rick Scarborough. Dr. Scarborough graduated in 1978 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary, in 1996. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Houston Baptist University, with a double major in Political Science and Speech. Among his many other accomplishments, in 1996 Dr. Scarborough published the widely acclaimed 252-page book appropriately entitled, Enough is Enough; a Call to Christian Involvement. In 2008 he published an update edition of Enough is Enough. In 1998, Scarborough founded Vision America, an organization whose mission is to “inform and mobilize Pastors and their congregations to become salt and light, becoming pro-active in restoring Judeo-Christian values in America.” The advisory board of Vision America includes notable Christian leaders such as Don Wildmon and Dr. Tim LaHaye.  We are honored to have Dr. Scarborough scheduled to travel South Dakota with us, as we strive to encourage and strengthen those in ministry.

The tour schedule is as follows.  Pick a city close to you, and click its link below to get schedule info and to register.


To The Army of FHA Volunteers - Our Gratitude!

April is National Volunteer Month and this makes for a perfect time for the Leadership of the FHA to express our heartfelt appreciation to all of our many Volunteers. As partners with the Family Heritage Alliance we believe in the ‘gift of giving’ - that we are ‘stronger and better when we work together’. Helen Walton, the wife of the well-known, Sam Walton, once said:


We realize that… sharing what we have is more important than what we have. We gather as friends and neighbors, infused with a Christian worldview, passionately engaged in influencing this country, state and community to be the best it can be.

Today we celebrate the work and ministry of our FHA Volunteers. May we together be a beacon of hope to those in the world around us who feel lost, alone, and are in need. May we stop our whining and start our shining. Yes, we are grateful for the doors of opportunity opened to the FHA --- and for our Volunteers who oil the hinges.

It was Gayla LeMaire who wisely said, "Volunteers are paid in six figures…S-M-I-L-E-S." To our many FHA Volunteers we say 'Thank You' as we share your SMILE :)


UPDATE : Bible Curriculum in Public Schools

By Perry Lewis

One year ago the Bible Curriculum in Public Schools was presented to Superintendent Tim Mitchell of the Rapid City School District, which is the largest district in South Dakota, and then presented to this audience.

We believed this great curriculum of history and literature was well received by Dr Mitchell and we know you received it well. It seemed to be moving in the direction for approval as an elective course in Rapid City High Schools.

A few weeks ago I met again with Dr. Mitchell. The climate of this meeting was substantially different than the first meeting in the following ways:

  1. Up front he told me he had been attacked by several people soon after it was announced the Bible Curriculum would be considered. Note: You may remember a very negative editorial by the Rapid City Journal followed by several negative letters to the editor. Shortly thereafter Dale Bartscher of Family Heritage Alliance had published in the same paper a very positive response.
  2. Dr. Mitchell told me he was overwhelmed (my word) by the Common Core planning and execution.
  3. He also said he works at the direction of the School Board and they gave him six directives to be his priority.
  4. Dr. Mitchell then told me, “There is no room for any electives that do not apply to higher education”.
  5. Finally he told me the Bible Curriculum concept is back to square one, and frankly it appeared to me he is not at all interested at this point in trying to move it forward.
May I suggest that Dr. Mitchell’s position, in view of Common Core [Standards], is probably not much different than Superintendents across the state, and nation for that matter.

Does Common Core and its dictates mean the end of the effort? Wars are seldom won with a single battle. Is it time for our legislature to become more proactive in school curriculum with legislation that reflects the standards we would want for our children?  How many Christians are serving on school boards?


FHA Advisory Council Sponsors "Grace Unplugged"

Join us at 3:00 PM April 27 at Rapid City's Elks Theatre for "Grace Unplugged"

This movie is presented by the FHA Advisory Council as a fundraiser for FHA Action.  The tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at the Elks Theatre Box Office or online.  Click here for the Elks Theatre Online.

Grace Unplugged is an Inspirational movie starring Amanda AJ Michalka as 18 year old Christian singer/songwriter, Grace Rose Trey. Beautiful, highly talented and restless, Grace is so far undiscovered outside church. She performs there each Sunday with her gifted father Johnny, the praise music director at Freedom Community Chapel, a small town Alabama church. A former rock star, Johnny Trey charted a Billboard number one single 20 years before. When the hits stopped coming he crash landed hard, a one hit wonder. Johnny found Christ and a new life for his family, far from the Hollywood Hills. One day without warning, Grace leaves for Los Angeles. She has landed a record deal with the help of Johnny's ruthless former manager and producer Frank Mossy Mostin. Mossy sees in Grace a potential pop superstar the next Katie Perry. Cutting off contact with her parents, Grace seems prepared to walk away from her Christian faith and music to achieve her long-suppressed fantasy of Hollywood super-stardom. Will the experience cause her to reject her faith, or rediscover it?


Land of the Free?

By Jordon Wilson

Editor's Note: Jordon Wilson is nineteen years old and one of FHA's interns. He serves under the oversight of Norman Woods, FHA's Youth and Young Adult Coordinator.

The land of the free has become a land of the enslaved. We are a people so conditioned to what the world around us believes. It seems that our thoughts and opinions are taken and developed from others around us and finding someone who thinks for themselves is almost impossible. Today's society is all about "me". You keep to yourself and I'll keep to myself and because of this diabolical attitude we compromise truth and compromise integrity to keep others happy. You don't believe me? Look at gay marriage for example, the media has stirred up quite the ruckus with this subject and by doing so those who gather their information and opinions from a blog or a newsfeed now have a new argument against those who stand up for truth and righteousness in this land. I will stand against this blight until I die because it is an abomination to God and it is wrong by nature. I've been told to "quit" to "give it up" and to "just accept it, because gay marriage will prevail and eventually become accepted nationwide". But the only reason that would ever happen is if the voice of truth and those who stand up for what's right keep their mouths shut and sheath their swords before the fight is over. Now is the time to rise, now is the time for the Church of God to implement truth, to administer justice, to be the example of upright and Godly living, to be the light in this dark world and to establish righteousness once again in this nation.


FHA West and East Participates in Hobby Lobby Day

On this Saturday morning in South Dakota we are enjoying 60 degree temps, clear skies and our HOBBY LOBBY APPRECIATION DAY. We have rallied our FHA Partners/Friends across the state to support Hobby Lobby today for their principled stand on Religious Freedom. Together we pray for a successful, right verdict from our Supreme Court on this issue.

This morning the FHA hand delivered over 200 Hobby Lobby Appreciation Cards to each of the stores in our state's two largest cities - Rapid City and Sioux Falls. The first photo attached shows me hand delivering our cards to the Rapid City store manager - Terry. The second shows LaVonne Fosness, FHA SE South Dakota Representative, hand delivering our cards to the Sioux Falls store assistant manger - Darrell. Both store managers and their employees were all SMILES.

Such is the battle we are engaging these days for our Religious Liberty Rights. As you all know well - they are NOT for sale as they are granted to us by our Creator.

-Dale Bartscher
Executive Director
Family Heritage Alliance / FHA Action


RC and SF March Luncheons

March 26 2014 Black Hills Area Luncheon

The FHA team was pleased to hold our March luncheon at Cedar Canyon Wesleyan Camp. 130 friends of the FHA joined us for a “working lunch” as we put a ribbon on the 2014 SD legislative session. Executive Director Dale Bartscher presented a summary of our work in Pierre and a look at the ongoing work of the Family Heritage Alliance. Joanne Woods dropped by with a troop of Teen Pact youth. We also had an opportunity to hear US Senate candidate Jason Ravnsborg talk about his campaign. A big thank you goes out to all who came out for the luncheon, and especially the wonderful folks at Cedar Canyon Camp who always make us feel right at home.March 27 2014

Sioux Falls Area Luncheon

Eighty friends of FHA gathered on Thursday at Calvary Assembly of God Church in Sioux Falls. The group got an opportunity to hear from both Sioux Falls Mayoral candidates (Mayor Mike Huether and Greg Jamison) as well as from US Senate Candidate Jason Ravnsborg!

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported on the event.  Click here to read their report.

Thanks to all who came out and shared a meal with us, and special thanks go out to Calvary Assembly of God for their hospitality!


FHA Adds ADF to our List of Associations

In their own words, this is what Alliance Defending Freedom has to say about their mission and identity: Alliance Defending Freedom is a servant ministry building an alliance to keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.

Recognizing the need for a strong, coordinated legal defense against growing attacks on religious freedom, more than 30 prominent Christian leaders launched Alliance Defending Freedom in 1994. Over the past 18 years, this unique legal ministry has brought together thousands of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations that work tirelessly to advocate for the right of people to freely live out their faith in America and around the world.

It gives us a great deal of pleasure to announce that last week, ADF extended to the FHA an invitation to be officially associated with them. Needless to say, we enthusiastically accepted their offer, and add ADF to our list of associations.


Red Cross Breakfast of Champions

The 'Breakfast of Champions' hosted by the Black Hills Area Red Cross Chapter was held on Thursday, March 13, at the Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City.  Of the many in attendance were five volunteers who happen to be in FHA Leadership.  Pictured here from left to right are FHA Advisory Council Members - Ezra Hays, Debra Watson, Scott Lawhun and Sandy Massey along with FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher.  The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.  These five FHA Red Cross Volunteers are honored to participate in the work of such a needed organization in our community, state and nation.  God Bless the American Red Cross!