A quick editorial note: Cathi is taking some much-needed time with her family, but she sent along some quick but poignant thoughts to share with you on this Friday for our final 5 Minutes for Families for 2022. On behalf of the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) team, I am eager for you to hear her heart on this second-to-last day of this monumental year.
– Chris St. John, CAP’s VP Advancement
Daily we see news reports on the latest affront to civil discourse and essential morality. We live amidst a culture in which the broader culture continually denies God and His Word. Deception rages throughout our nation. Few of us, if any, are untouched by the cultural decline.
To say the least, the political makeup on both the national and state levels are disappointing daily, if not several worse adjectives.
Some days, grief and dismay seem to come at us from every angle.
Yet, we are not without hope.
Yet, we do not give up.
Yet, we do not throw in the towel.
We press on.
We enter 2023 with the hope and trust that only can be found in our faith in God and in His Son.
We don’t grow weary or faint because we know in due time we also shall reap.
May 2023 be a year in which we renew our faith and our hope.
May 2023 be a year in which we continue to have the courage to stand for our beliefs no matter what may come at us.
One who never grew weary or gave up was Tom Minnery.
On Christmas Eve, Tom slipped and fell on ice, leading to his passing the same day.
Among Tom’s legacy is Center for Arizona Policy and our 40 allied state-based family policy councils.
In remembering Tom, Craig DeRoche and the Family Policy Alliance team wrote:
His impact and legacy will continue to be felt across the country – in the policies he helped shape; the state Family Policy Councils he helped nurture into existence; in the ministries he served in, led or helped govern; and in the countless lives he touched.
In recent years, Tom served as the board chair for Center for Christian Virtue (CCV) in Ohio. CCV President and former CAP Communications Director spoke of Tom’s impact on his life:
“When so many Christians were afraid to speak Christ’s perfect and loving truth about abortion, same-sex marriage, or pornography, Tom was not silent.
His life was a clarion call to the Church, demonstrating that how we stand matters as much as the issues on which we stand. Tom often spoke softly, but always with the authority of a man who found his direction from God’s holy scripture. He challenged every ministry he was involved with to strive for integrity and excellence, remembering whose name we bear when we enter the political arena.
Jim Daly, CEO of Focus on the Family, wrote of how God called Tom to full-time ministry work:
But what many people may not know, is that his life and career turned and pivoted on the lyrics of the Bill Gaither piece, “Songs that Answer Questions.”
The year was 1976. Tom was a Capitol Hill correspondent for Gannett Newspapers. He was turning over every page and asking the right questions. But something didn’t feel right. Tom was growing frustrated. He was disenchanted with the churn and shallowness of regular news.
A relatively new Christian, Tom and Deb went to a Bill and Gloria Gaither concert one night.
“I don’t want to spend my time, A-singing songs to answer questionsthat nobody’s even asking anyhow,” crooned Bill Gaither. It was the first time Bill had ever sung the new song.
The penny dropped for Tom. He wasn’t writing songs, but he was writing news – and trying to find answers neither his editors nor his readers seemed all that concerned about.
Inspired by that revelation, Tom resigned his reporting position and enrolled in Dallas Theological Seminary. He wanted to know more about his new faith and felt like a master’s degree in theology was a good place to start.
“Being salt and light in this age means contending responsibly for godly standards,” Tom once wrote. “There is no escaping the mixture of religion and politics, because nearly every law is the result of somebody’s judgment about what is good and what is bad.
Tom’s greatest achievement during his remarkable tenure was spearheading the start of family policy councils all over the country.
A founding Alliance Defending Freedom board member, the ADF Board shared:
“His legacy is one of a humble, yet fearless, servant-leader. He reflected Christ in both his public and personal life. He was a true model of what it means to work unto the Lord. We will miss him deeply but will always be thankful for the world he left behind, because it is a world that was greatly enriched because of him.”
Like Tom, I don’t want to spend my life answering questions no one is answering. I hope you join that sentiment.
I most remember Tom’s devotions as well as encouraging and challenging words at our family policy council gatherings. Like my colleagues around the country, Tom not only shaped our movement but he shaped each one of us leading our state-based policy councils. I am grateful for having known and learned from Tom Minnery.
My challenge for each of you:
How would God have you stand in 2023? How are you to serve as salt and light?
I thank each of you that have stood with us through these many years. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for 2023 and how He would have us to continue to stand and make a difference.
As I’ve often said, we’re not going anywhere. May God continue to anoint our work. May God continue to expand our reach, enable us to drive the conversation on the issues that matter most, and mobilize like-minded allies.
May God bless you and yours in this coming year.
Onward for God’s Glory!