What is Praxis Circle?
“A community building worldviews to renew a free and good society.”
Just for fun, to begin our Year in Review 2021, we start with the clip above and maybe right now the happiest person on the planet, Victoria Cobb. (See video: “What’s most important in your life?”.) She makes some great points about worldview and the importance of remaining true to core beliefs in how we actually live our lives.
Many today complain that this has become increasingly rare. But my question is this: Why is Victoria so doggone happy? Well, you might know that Victoria is usually pretty happy anyway.
But the answer for right now is that she began 2022 with assurance that Virginia will not anytime soon eliminate families, children, and gender via legislative gavel and that teaching CRT and 1619 in the classrooms will be seriously challenged (or totally eliminated). Equally important, she has increasing reason for hope for the unborn, both locally and nationally.
My, how things change in only six months! (Since filming her interview on July 3, 2021.)
Now to our Year in Review.
We issued our first Year in Review in August 2020 (at the second anniversary of our blog) to display the breadth of our worldview content, Todays’ Worldview Jungle. In contrast, this Year in Review 2021 will outline how Praxis Circle is being transformed from a video content generating organization to a viewer-based, volunteer-centric educational and activist organization.
In sum, the jungle animals remain restless & energized, but have organized to maneuver even better now out on the savannah.
Our first significant step in 2022’s direction occurred in 2020 when we created a board of directors (see list at bottom of the link) to help guide us in the transformation process from primarily a content production company to a content utilization and marketing company.
The board’s unanimous early advice was to refine our mission statement, begin putting together a more marketing-oriented business plan, and finish getting the right people on the organizational bus.
In 2021, again in sum, this is exactly what the Praxis Circle animals accomplished.
Following is a topical account of 2021 offered in chronological order:
Management and Marketing: Early in 2021 we completed an extensive search to add a fourth person to our management team, Raegan Alpaugh, as our Content and Engagement Coordinator. With Raegan we then established a full social media program, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. It is generating significant results. (Please sign up for any of that, if interested. The content is fun, additive, and easy to access.)
We also began working with several outside firms to create a detailed marketing plan, including advertising, which we will complete in the first quarter of this year and use with our rollout of Praxis Circle 2.0, discussed further below.
Educational Programs: After adding to our inside team, we delivered several individual and group educational programs with members to determine ways to strengthen our viewer and member-oriented offerings and materials. As a result, we will be introducing new programs, webinars, and live events to the public using our video and Contributor resources later this year.
Our team is confident that the nature of our video, digital, and written content will enhance learning in unique ways not currently offered in the digital and live-learning marketplace.
Strategic Planning: On November 4 and 5, 2021, ten members of the Praxis Circle inside-outside team met to discuss organizational mission and a new strategic plan. The team included a representative from the digital resources firm we have hired to assist in designing a new website and course content that will make it easy to use our video to host online and face-to-face lectures, emphasizing group discussion.
We determined foremost that in all of our interaction with viewers and members we will strive for the highest quality interaction and personal attention.
Praxis Circle 2.0: We emerged out of the November 4 – 5 planning session with the goal of rolling out a viewer-oriented Praxis Circle 2.0 by the end of the first half of 2022. Praxis Circle 2.0 would include a new website, new video content, new blog types, podcasts, and educational offerings (again, emphasizing high-touch webinars and small group discussion). We will also target an annual live event.
We will work closely with our board between now and the PC 2.0 rollout targeted to begin in June, and we will strive to become an even more member-driven organization, stressing volunteer activity and contribution.
New Mission Statement: Most important, the management team after much review at our Strategic Planning meeting agreed on a new mission statement. It builds on our existing longer statement and our tag line, Building Worldviews. Some would call it an “elevator pitch,” and it appears at top and here:
Praxis Circle is a community building worldviews to renew a free and good society. Much is packed into this statement. We will explain it fully with a later post.
Subsequently, on January 12, 2022, the Institute of Faith, Works & Economics (IFWE) asked us to write the article linked here that explains our mission and thinking coming out of our strategic planning meeting in early November. It is a good statement of who we are.
2021 Interviews: We interviewed nine new Contributors last year, breaking our prior annual pre-COVID record of seven. We introduced three in the second half of the year and one this month: Ross Mackenzie, Victoria Cobb, Jim Bacon, and John Reid. Interviewed but still in post-production are: Os Guinness (our first second interview, who has written six books since we interviewed him last time), Ashley McGuire, Robert George, Rusty Reno, and Heather Mac Donald.
We are excited to say we have three more interview invitations already accepted for this year and several that are soft-circled, without having issued any new invites so far.
We will publish another, later post to highlight the worldview themes covered last year in our organizational, individual, and team blogs, along with an overview of our thematic direction for this year, building on 2021.
While we strive to stay out of politics and do not endorse political candidates, it is impossible to discuss worldview without dipping squarely into politics. Ideas have consequences.
Our goal is to do so without animosity and demonizing “the other.” We believe it is important to understand before being understood and that the vast majority hold their worldview because they believe it’s good. It is written: “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it mean.”
Most important, we believe all human beings are created in God’s image, thus equal in God’s eyes.
This is not just a catchy slogan or principle that has formed the foundation of Western civilization. It contains deep truth and philosophy that connects it to reality and science. There are good reasons why that or those wild & crazy Jewish author(s) of Genesis were able to nail their account of Creation with no access whatsoever to modern physics or astronomy, as warlords crossed their Promised Land continuously from every direction.
While recognizing such governing principles, Praxis Circle certainly will not apologize for holding a predominately Judeo-Christian worldview (including its secular versions), the one that has done the most to make freedom possible in the West for the last 2,000 years and increasingly worldwide (with momentary pauses or slippage).
These principles clearly go far beyond race, gender, and class: Even during the ridiculously misnamed “Dark Ages,” most knew Jesus was not a white person, championed women, and was not an aristocrat. He was God’s perfect choice (Himself) among His starting promised people. After all, even God had to start somewhere, sometime with someone, if He so chooses.
To verify the first topic sentence in the prior paragraph, all anyone has had to do is read the text.
To boil it down, our foundational Mission Statement, again linked here, suggests that we support: 1) the United States remaining the American Experiment in CJC’s (Classical Judeo-Christianity’s) version of freedom, 2) CJC’s traditional monogamous family, where husbands and wives marry for life, and parents raise their children with virtually full authority over them, and 3) balancing the federal, state, and local budgets, unless truly exceptional circumstances arise (like war). Individuals and families hire the government, not vice versa.
If we don’t stop spending what we don’t have, we will disintegrate as a nation.
To close, let’s return to Victoria Cobb and why she seems so darn happy. Please note again that her interview occurred last July when things looked exceptionally dark for the traditional family in Virginia. Victoria was born into a loving and supportive Christian family, and then took the time to understand why her worldview is an exceedingly good one.
She then adopted it fully in maturity.
Let’s contrast Victoria with Adrienne Johnson in the video below, who also had loving parents but experienced a much tougher road to maturity.
So why are these two women so happy, having taken extraordinarily different routes? I would submit there isn’t a hair’s breadth between them now.
Their personal experiences helped each land on a worldview that is capable of filling any hole in our souls, one that conforms well to truth, goodness, and beauty. Eventually, God’s daily involvement always breaks through into our personal experience, if we are willing.
Of course, such a discovery is equally important for men, and it happens all the time for those who keep searching.
In conclusion, we hope you will keep your own eyes peeled for Praxis Circle 2.0’s roll out sometime before June 30, 2022! We would love to build worldviews together with you this year to renew a free and good society.
In fact, 2022 is likely to be a terrific year in general for the U.S. of A. and worldview enthusiasts all around the Worldview Jungle.