SBC and I deeply bemoan the fact that the School Board of Joliet, IL missed a once in a lifetime opportunity in 2013 when they dedicated the Lynne Thigpen Elementary School – named for the wonderful actor Lynne Thigpen – and failed to name the mascot The Gumshoes. Come on! It was so obvious!
Imagine that every science class, every art class, especially every geography class (!) doing their work as “gumshoes” – detectives committed to discovering the answers! Where in the world is The Sphinx? Machu Pichu? The Mona Lisa? Honestly, this is among the worst missed opportunity I can imagine.
But I see this every day in Church.
- A congregation meets – literally – beside an elementary school with a large free and reduced lunch population and they have zero relationship with that school.
- A march is scheduled outside an urban church building and the elders decide to close the building that day (to prevent strangers from entering) rather than serve water and coffee out front and let guests use their restrooms.
- The church building has a fellowship hall that nobody uses Monday – Saturday and there are homeless people sleeping in the streets.
I could go on and on. We – as the Church – need to work on our own gumshoe skills to figure out how we might serve those in our community. Sometimes the clues are so obvious.
Image of Lynne Thigpen as The Chief in the television show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” She died suddenly in 2003 and her hometown named their newest elementary school after her in 2013. (But they missed the boat on naming the mascot.)