Welcome to Family Heritage Alliance
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.
Human Trafficking Conference 2014
On Saturday, March 1, the Family Heritage Alliance was pleased to present our first Human Trafficking Conference. With our Tess Franzen at the helm, the conference came off with stunning success. Not even brutal cold and driving snow could keep ninety stalwart passionate folks from gathering at Rapid City’s First Assembly of God to learn about the scope of and the remedies to human trafficking in South Dakota. Conference presenters were: U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, Appellate Chief Kevin Koliner, Brent Gromer (DCI ICAC), and Forensic Interviewer Hollie Strand. The event was sponsored by Family Heritage Alliance Human Rights Division, Comfort Inn, Riddle’s Jewelry, and First Assembly Rapid City.
In the picture, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson presents FHA Human Rights Division Director Tess Franzen with a lapel pin honoring her tireless work battling human trafficking!
Justice Against Slavery Summit
Congresswoman Kristi Noem and the Polaris Project sponsored the Justice Against Slavery Summit Monday, February 24th in Sioux Falls at the University Center. The event was well attended by 50 people from a cross section of our community including law enforcement, clergy, advocates, survivors and para-church ministries, including the Family Heritage Alliance.
Dr. Elizabeth Talbot was the MC. She has done extensive research on trafficking covering first responders to caregiving.
Paul Niedringhaus from the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office shared that they are networking with other groups and together with the Junior League they have started a task force aimed at Junior and Senior High students who are being targeted. They are taking the approach of educating students and parents to recognize the vulnerabilities that perpetrators take in singling out their victims.
Kerry Stephenson from Mita Maske Tiki (My Sister Friend’s House) was courageous in sharing her heart from the perspective of being a survivor. She rarely talks about her experience due to her vulnerability as her perpetrator is still out in society. She encourages victims and survivors to keep a strong heart as vulnerability amongst those targeted leads down a path to drugs, alcohol, shame, guilt and lifelong threats.
Kimberly Kaveny from Be Free Ministries does aftercare. 50% of their survivors are from reservations. She stated that perpetrators look for these vulnerabilities: poverty, prejudice, sexually abused, violent, low self-esteem, cultural genocide and loss of culture. One third of native women are sexually abused and most often initiated by family groups. There is usually a code of silence for these victims as they want to protect their abuser due to their culture and families tend to protect their abuser because of family ties. Kimberly strongly proposes that we support leaders on the front line in helping to educate, prepare legislation and defend values within our communities.
Britanny Vanderhoof from the Polaris Project, Policy Counsel in Washington DC provides services to victims of trafficking and operates the National Hotline. They have received one hundred thousand calls from those either wanting services or information. She stated that 80 to 99% of children who had been trafficked were involved with the Child Welfare System. The Polaris Project is also involved with Policy Making. On a state level we need to motivate our state legislators to work on 12 laws that states can activate regarding what we can do to prosecute and provide a uniform law language. One active bill is referred to as Vacating Convictions which is pending. It is a factual finding of innocence bill which would remove the felony charges against the victim. These charges are what prevents many survivors from getting out of trafficking. The Polaris Project will help in providing the language and the resources to pass this bill.
- Some concluding remarks or discussion included:
- Working on legislation within our state government
- Working on Backpage, Craigs List and other advertisements which promote trafficking
- Prevention with the upcoming pipeline coming to South Dakota.
- Needed are long term care services for survivors and services for male victims.
- Hope International provides a DVD called “Chosen” which is a good educational piece.
- The Truckers Association has been an advocate in keeping their eyes open to trafficking that they see at truck stops and other locations as they travel the road.
In conclusion Congresswoman Kristi Noem shared that all ages are vulnerable to trafficking. Cases from age two to seventy have been reported. We need to increase education and raise awareness. She strongly recommends that we connect with organizations that are actively involved with trafficking and become a part of their task force. Change will happen as we take a grassroots approach and work together as a team.
Cracks in Common Core
This article was originally published by Family Research Council and is used with their permission.
The cheerleaders of Common Core didn't do themselves any favors during last Friday's education roundtable at the far-Left Center for American Progress (CAP). The event, which was supposed to help drum up support for the President's hugely controversial classrooms standards, only gave Americans greater cause for concern. Unfortunately for the White House, the wheels were already coming off its push to centralize more education power in Washington -- and away from local schools and parents.
Last week, Massachusetts Education Secretary Paul Reville only confirmed families' fears that Common Core is just another way for the Left to seize control of the classroom and use it as yet another laboratory of social indoctrination. Reville, who shrugged off the opposition as "a tiny minority," raised plenty of eyebrows with his it-takes-a-village approach to Common Core. "Why should some towns and cities and states have no standards or low standards and others have extremely high standards when the children belong to all of us?"
As if parents weren't angry enough, now liberals are equating their kids to government property! (If children belong to all of us, I wish I'd known that when I was changing diapers!) Unfortunately, this is just the logical progression of extreme liberal thinking. Everything -- and everyone -- belongs to the government to use or control how it sees fit. But if that was supposed to be a persuasive argument for nationalizing education standards -- the government's supposed ownership rights over our sons and daughters -- then Common Core is in more trouble that we gave it credit for.
Already, the White House is dealing with a firestorm of criticism -- even from its loyalist allies. There was a collective gasp a few weeks ago when one of the country's largest teachers unions pulled its support from the policy. To the shock of everyone, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) -- representing 600,000 current and retired school teachers -- blasted the concept and voted unanimously to pull its endorsement from Common Core. "We'll have to be the first to say it's failed," said Richard Iannuzzi, President of NYSUT. "[O]ur members don't see this going down a path that improves teaching and learning. We're struggling with how to deal with it."
And they aren't the only ones. States from coast-to-coast are hearing from angry parents who want officials to reconsider their involvement in a program that hasn't been thoroughly tested or researched. George Will, who recently wrote a scathing column on Common Core, knows that the President's pet project "will take a toll on parental empowerment, and none of this will escape the politicization of learning like that already rampant in higher education." Even if Americans could trust the federal government with education (a big "if" considering its inability to deliver a simple health care website), any nationalized standards will "extinguish federalism's creativity," Will points out. The withdrawal of key proponents -- like New York teachers, who may have helped reassure parents -- only adds fuel to the fire.
That bonfire blazed even brighter today with the introduction of Senator Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) resolution. In it, the South Carolina Republican takes Common Core to task. "National standards," it reads, "lead to national assessments -- and national assessments lead to national curriculum." The President knew this when he started pushing states toward the standards using federal money as incentive. Like us, Sen. Graham objects to the administration buying off governors with $4 billion in "Race to the Top" funds, which Washington is dangling in front of states to entice them to approve the standards. As part of his draft, Sen. Graham calls on Congress to: put state and local officials in charge of education; stop the government from financially bribing states to adopt Common Core; and making federal education grants contingent on a state's Common Core status.
"We don't ever want to educate South Carolina children like they educate California children," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said recently. Education is an important job -- one the federal government has never proven itself qualified for.
Jan 15 Black Hills Area Luncheon
We so appreciate Pastor Strong and Sorum and all
their staff and crew at Bethel Assembly of God. And, as always, the
army of FHA volunteers made the FHA look good. Thanks all for an awesome
The great folks at RC’s Bethel Assembly of God
hosted what very well may have been our most successful luncheon to
date. The room was set up for 150, and every seat was filled. We had
several technical folks around the room who weren’t seated
at tables, so the estimate stands at 160 +. The phenomenal catering
crew from the Chophouse set a terrific meal in front of our guests.
Speakers for the program included Governor Rounds, Rapid City Mayor
Kooiker, Qusi Al-haj (From Senator Thune’s office), Kyle Hoyt (From
Representative Kristi Noem’s office), Tess Franzen (Director of FHA
Human Rights Division), John Dennis (FHA Communications Director), and
of course our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher. Pastor Wayne Titus
(Valley Community Church) was called to the stage and presented with the
FHA 'Beyond the Walls' Pastor Award. The luncheon was covered by a
host of media outlets including
Norman Woods Joins Family Heritage Alliance
As we begin this New Year it seems to be the right time to introduce our newest team member, Norman Woods. As our new Youth and Young Adult Engagement Coordinator, he’ll manage our commitment to reach and engage this vital age group and much, much more.
Your faithful financial support of the FHA has allowed us to place Norman in this part-time position with the FHA. Thank You!
Norman’s cheer, his passionate love for Christ and His Word, his energetic witness, and his outstanding speaking and writing skills, combined with a personal warmth, have already made him a blessing to all of us, and we’re sure he will be to you, too. Please join us in welcoming him to the FHA team, and uphold him—and all of us—in your prayers that we would honor Christ in everything we do!
Please read on as Norman shares from his own pen:
“As the newest FHA staff member I've become well acquainted with many of the FHA family members, but for those who don’t know me here's a bit of my life’s story.
I'm proud to share with Dale Bartscher the title of a ‘Born, Raised, and Corn-Fed South Dakotan’. I was born in Pierre, and moved to Piedmont when I was 2 years of age. Riding dirt bikes since I was 8 is definitely my passion when it comes to hobbies but Hunting and Ultimate Frisbee would be a close second and third.
I was homeschooled through high school and I am currently taking classes online for a degree in Communications from Thomas Edison State College. TeenPact Leadership Schools have played a large role in my education with regards to leadership training. I attended my first, of many, TeenPact classes at the Capitol in 2008. This week long event taught me a basic understanding of South Dakota government and challenged me to engage my culture. I was accepted in a TeenPact Leadership Training program in 2011. I served on the South Dakota staff team for 3 years and it concluded with my leading an alumni event. The event is called Survival and it teaches students basic wilderness survival skills, along with team-building training. I am still serving on the Survival Team, as we plan for future events at locations across the nation.
High School Policy Debate, and Summit Ministries supplemented my leadership skill training. In Team-Policy Debate my partner and I qualified to compete in the 2011 National Championship in Boston, MA.
Summit Ministries is a two-week worldview conference. They taught us details of our faith, of other major faiths, how to dialogue effectively with like minded Christians and those who may oppose our beliefs.
All three of these, TeenPact, Debate, and Summit, are "to blame" for my involvement with the FHA today. The leadership challenge and political knowledge of TeenPact, the speaking skills and discernment from debate, and the worldview knowledge from Summit, all helped in making me a good fit for the FHA. I have interned on a volunteer basis with the FHA since the fall of 2011 and I am now excited to watch my role with them grow.”
Friends, Norman is excited to join the Family Heritage Alliance as our Youth and Young Adult Engagement Coordinator, a position in which he and we believe God has placed him.
TeenPact Alumni on the Move!
Since our inception, it has been an honor for the Family Heritage Alliance to partner with the South Dakota chapter of TeenPact. We recently got an email from Joanne Woods, the Coordinator for SD TeenPact. She wrote to inform us that six SD TeenPact Alumni would be working in the SD Capitol this year. They are:
- Joseph Updike who recently found out that he will be a Legislative Page this year.
- William Updike just received notice that he has been accepted in an Internship in the House.
- Norman Woods (yes, of course he is related to Joanne) has been hired and
starts January 13 as a lobbyist with the FHA’s Dale Bartscher.
- Also, for three weeks out of the legislative session, three other TP alumni students will be shadowing FHA.
Congratulations to all the above. We are so much better to have this youthful influence in the Pierre this year!
FHA's Advisory Council Supports Relief Event
With the recent October blizzard, Rapid City's local agriculture neighbors were severely impacted by the staggering numbers of livestock lost. So it is that a local Community Chili Feed, under the direction of Rapid City Councilman Jerry Wright, was organized and hosted as an expression of the community's appreciation for all the agriculture does for Western South Dakota's economy. The FHA was invited to participate and their Advisory Council Members stepped up to the plate as we hosted a Chili Table and personally donated over $150 dollars to the cause. All proceeds raised that evening went to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund. We tip our 'Cowboy Hats' to our FHA Chili Cooks: George Yorba and Dan Baker for a job well done. This event was held on Thursday, December 19 at the Rapid City Central States Fairground. Yes, we are a community in unity!
Qusi Alhaj Mesmerizes FHA BH Luncheon Crowd
170 folks crowded into the room so graciously provided for us by Open Bible Christian Center. They came to eat lunch of course, but they could do that many other places in and around Rapid City. They came to eat, fellowship, and be encouraged. And I think all would agree, they got what they came for. On November 20, the FHA did what we do well. We brought together a diverse group of people who share a common faith in God and a common love of this amazing country. Several dignitaries were in the room. Among them were, Rapid City’s Mayor Sam Kooiker, Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom, RC Alderman Brad Estes and a host of SD legislators. State Senator Shantel Krebs took a few moments on stage to talk about her candidacy for SD Secretary of State. Brad Otten, was in the room representing US Representative Kristi Noem and of course Qusi Alhaj, Senator John Thune’s West River Regional Director was there as well (more about Qusi in a moment). The legendary Chop House catered the event, and as always the food was amazing.
Many in the room came specifically to hear Qusi’s story, which is entitled “American Exceptionalism, An Immigrant’s Journey”. Simply put, it is the story of a broke teenage Jordanian immigrant who came to this country with a twenty-word English vocabulary, seeking a better way of life. Alhaj spoke of the hope this country holds for the world, and the exceptional and unique nature of our freedom and way of life. At one point, Qusi stated: “as Americans, if we get it right, the rest of the world has a chance to get it right. If we get it wrong, the rest of the world is in deep trouble”. If you missed this event, or even if you didn’t, do yourself a favor. Sit down, settle in, watch the video (below) of Qusi’s story. It will be an invaluable thirty minute investment in restoring your hope for this country.
As always, we want to close by thanking those that made this event a success. Open Bible Christian Center, their staff, and volunteers, were simply amazing. The army of FHA volunteers (too numerous to name) always represent us well and create an exceptional experience for those who attend. Amy Willson, our Executive Assistant, did great job helping us get all the moving parts ready for the luncheon. And last but not least, thanks to all who attended. As our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher is fond of saying: “you are the wind beneath our wings”.