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  1. Megachurch. Just a little FYI. That isn’t a “megachurch” where people meet every Sunday, it is a Conference Center where millions of people attend via satellite from around the world along with the thousands in the Conference Center. It is gigantic because millions of members live within a couple of hours of the Conference Center. It isn’t just a church, it is the center for an entire religious denomination with millions of members worldwide. Local churches have no paid clergy, no collection plate, not discussion of money (or politics) in church at all. The building of church buildings for weekly services is a constant, and the local people pay what they can and the headquarters pays the rest so there are no church buildings that are not paid for 100% and there is no debt, no mortgage, no loans. I went to Rio de Janeiro and a tour took us to a huge cavernous modern cathedral and the first thing I saw walking in were two signs asking for money to pay for the building and expenses–the people served the building it didn’t serve them so much, and it was in a very poor neighborhood. That is never the experience with these people. Also, they have the best welfare program of its kind in the world. They pay MILLIONS in taxes on non-religious properties like farms and dairies, and mills, and parks where people who are out of a job can work until their job comes through, or you can go to a “storehouse” and take what you need, and no out-of-date items or spoiled items either. They feed and provide necessary items to millions of people annually around the world and give a lot to other churches and charities for distribution or partner with other churches (In Amman Jordan, they partnered with a Muslim congregation and made backpacks full of necessities for refugees (one example). They also provide free services, including language lessons, to immigrants, and help anyone who wants to research their families with no obligations whatsoever. No one is perfect, but they are not like Evangelicults, they don’t have preachers that become famous and millionaires and live in mansions and have private planes and go on exotic vacations. I was looking for something else when I saw the picture. I have never been there but my Mom has and at least one of my sisters. Most of the people I know are down-to-earth, nice, non-judgmental, kind people like my mom & sisters.

  2. Ms. Goodwin,

    I just finished reading your blog entitled, “Making School More Like Hogwarts”. I find that it really captures the essence of how I feel about the public education system. In fact, I have been thinking that someone should be taking a stab at revamping the education system, and even toying with the idea that that someone could be me.

    I am not an educator by trade. In fact, I am an U.S. Naval Officer. I did, however, grow up as a gifted child in a family of gifted children, and am now raising two gifted kids of my own. One is in fifth grade and the other in third, and I find myself getting more and more frustrated with the direction education is going; No child left behind and all that.

    When the school year started this year, the school district my kids attend introduced a new grading system that marks students as ‘Needs Improvement’, ‘Developing Proficiency’, ‘Proficient’ or ‘Advanced Proficient’ in various categories. It was explained that this applied to where the kids were at that particular moment, so that all the kids who were at any particular level at the end of a marking period would receive that grade, and didn’t have to worry that their grades would be dragged down by poor performance earlier in the period because it took them a little longer to get it than other kids. I raised my hand and asked, “Great! And what do you have in place for the kids who are ‘Advanced Proficient’ early on in the term?” In response, I got some very uncomfortable looks and was finally told that each individual teacher would have to come up with things for those children.

    So, I want to first say that I wholeheartedly agree with you that we need to allow children to soar when they have the ability, but I also wanted to ask you if you know of, or are in touch with any groups that are working on formulating a real plan to really reform our education system? As I said, I’m a Naval Officer – a Cryptologist – by trade, but what I do best is problem solve. I’d love to help out if there is an effort going on.

    • Hi,
      I just googled Helen and Carl Doss and you blog came up. Like you I read the Karen books and the Family Nobody wanted many times. I was heartbroken to find that the Doss’ had divorced. I actually adopted because of this family!

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