Thursday, August 28, 2008

Presbyterians together

The meeting was a meeting.
Very little drama.
A lot of paper passed and perused.
The location was interesting, though.
Kemmerer Village is a Presbyterian home for children who have been removed from their homes for various reasons. DCFS was the major "referral agency" until quite recently. But the state went to a "no decline" policy. The state wanted Kemmerer to agree to provide up to 36 "beds" - slots for children - and then take whoever the state sent whenever they sent them. So, if they were temporarily understaffed, or had some difficult clients that needed some extra time to adjust, they wouldn't be able to refuse to take on new clients. (Kemmerer is certified to accept and treat the most severely disturbed children.)
In order to provide a managable environment, Kemmerer didn't want to HAVE to take whoever whenever the state said. So they agreed to provide only 14 beds under that agreement. So now they are exploring other methods of referral, which will protect their ability to control their programming and provide the best care for the children they do have living there. That makes sense to me.
But, thinking theologically, I had to consider that our dear God has a "no decline" policy.
We call it grace.
And I guess it takes God to pull something like that off. We, unlike God, have to constantly be making prayerful decisions about what we can do and what is "too much" "too hard" "too many" "too severe a problem" for us.
Those decisions are heart breaking sometimes. But they have to be made. God help us.

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