Emailed to parents and faculty on October 21, 2020
Viking Nation –
I pray that this note finds you and your family well. Today, I am writing to address the upcoming election. Through prayer, I felt led to communicate with you first before speaking with our 6th – 12th grade students in chapel about staying united through the election season. Simply put, this topic is too unpredictable for me to be silent. My goal is to ensure we are unified in our efforts to understand, love, and serve one another.
As you are aware, we are in the midst of a contentious election year, and I expect the election to be a very difficult and divisive time for our country. My focus is not on your family’s political affiliation, but instead, on my efforts to keep Viking Nation unified with a Christ-centered perspective. My viewpoint is rooted in the fact that First Presbyterian Day School is the finest and most well-respected Christian School in Central Georgia. Debating politics about most issues tends to deter from that. This does not mean we do not have opinions on issues or favor one candidate over another.
My call to all of us during this time – this election season – is to vote, to come together, to find common ground in the person and saving grace of Jesus Christ, to be quick to listen and slow to speak, and to refuse to allow our political opinions and positions on the candidates and parties to divide us. As a Christian community, this is our charge.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus is clear when he tells us, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Viking Nation, let’s show the Macon community that we do not identify with the red side or the blue side, but that we identify with the FPD side – the Kingdom of Christ side – by how we love and respect one another through our differences.
Thus, the question remains for us, as the political climate attempts to divide us: Do we have the courage to put our faith filter in front of our political filter – to love unconditionally and stay unified per our vision of ONE as defined in 1 Corinthians 1:10? I believe we do.
To that end, I want to be clear with you as we enter the election season. We will not allow any politicization which affects the unity of our campus or the academic integrity of our classrooms. If the FPD Administrative Team defines any such behavior as doing so, it will be handled swiftly and respectfully. I am hopeful about the days to come. Not because of the results of the election, but because we are part of a special family of people built upon the grace and love of Jesus Christ. In spite of our differences, because of our differences, let us demonstrate how one community can stay united through the election season.
My door is always open to you. I love FPD, and I am blessed to be a part of Viking Nation. I will be praying for you, for our community, and for our nation in the days ahead. Please join me in doing so.
Dr. John Patterson
FPD Head of School