By Ty Fischer

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When I get sick, I watch the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings movies. I have always gotten well. Just saying.

One powerful scene in The Return of the King is the lighting of the beacon fires. These fires communicate that the good guys in Gondor need help from other good guys in Rohan. (Please don’t check for this dialogue in the actual books. It is not as exciting in the books!) Pippin sneaks up and lights the first beacon. When he does, the other six far away beacon fires are lit. Each one is on top of some precipice so that the call for help gets communicated quickly over a vast distance. The last one can be seen by Aragorn who is waiting in Rohan. He rushes to tell Rohan’s king, Théoden, “Gondor calls for aid!” At this point, all hangs in the balance. Will the world of men be conquered by darkness or will they face the evil forces arrayed against them? Everyone pauses and Thédoen responds, “And Rohan will answer.”

As the battle unfolds, there is not much hope—at least initially. The great city of Gondor, Minas Tirith, is besieged. The defenders are too few. The leadership of Minas Tirith is hopeless, divided, and downright depressing. Remind you of anything? Over the last few weeks, it has prompted me to think of the current state of the Christian Church in America. Our weakness, faltering, and the scandals of our wayward hypocrisy should shame us into calling out to God, but we don’t. Many of our leaders leap over each other to compromise with the powers that be, and apologize tearfully for offending them. Admittedly, we deserve it. Our love for Christ and for our neighbors has grown cold and we care more for our comfort rather than for truth and the had work of humbly serving God and building communities.

I don’t come to you with all of the answers—other than to say that all of the problems facing us as individuals and as a culture find their only lasting solution in the blood of Jesus that gives us peace with God and a far greater unity with each other than can be provided by family, nationality, race, or sex—but I do come to light the beacons.

When we face a time like this, we have to come together not because we know all that needs to happen, but because we know the next right thing that needs to happen. We need to unite and face our challenges with hope and faith.

My work is to grow the impact of classical Christian education. We are working to raise the profile of classical Christian schools. We are building an infrastructure to strengthen and grow our existing schools and to help more new schools start—in every corner of our country. Our aim is to make classical Christian schooling a known and realistic option for every Christian family in America.

To do that I need an army. Interested? If you have time, talent, or treasure to help move ACCS and classical Christian education toward these goals, I need you to take up the challenge and go to the home base and club house of this effort and join up.

Just go to the Back Room at, set up your account, and find out how you can help.

The beacon is lit. How will you answer?


Ty Fischer is Headmaster at Veritas Academy in Leola, PA.