When I scheduled the exclusive screening for the We are Family documentary I knew I would need sponsors to help cover the cost of the theater rental and catering. Instead of looking for corporate sponsor, I reached out to friends. Blake Jackson is a long time friend. He also happens to be one of the Directors of American Senior Communities (ASC). 

I met Blake when he and his wife, Renata, and their four sons showed up at Redeemer, the church I pastored in downtown Indianapolis. Over the years we became friends. He was one of those friends a few years further down the road than me. I watched his life and learned “over his shoulder” as Steve Garber puts it. One of the main things I was watching for was how to raise sons. He had four. I had three. I had a lot to learn. One specific lesson I learned was to celebrate your children’s coming-of-age. I was honored to attend three of his sons coming of age celebrations. These were times when Blake and his friends and son’s friends welcomed his boys into the status and responsibilities of manhood. I write about these coming of age celebrations in the chapter on “Accepting Responsibility” in my book on Christian identity and calling, The Name

“Godliness is eager, open handed, faithful response to the calling that encircles you. Blake, a friend in Indianapolis, has four sons. When his sons turned thirteen, Blake invited his and his son’s friends to an overnight coming-of-age camping trip. During the day we played on the lake, then feasted on a big dinner. In the evening around the fire, each shared what it means to be a man and encouraged Blake’s sons to step into manhood. Blake always read a letter to each son. It shared his love for them, affirmed their strengths, and spelled out characteristics of a godly man. These letters all contained a phrase that struck me then and remain with me today. ‘a godly man rejects passivity and accepts responsibility.’ A godly man (or woman) rejects passivity and accepts responsibility for the commission God assigned. Decision is demanded. Passivity must be rejected. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone, scary to step into your calling. Still you must because no one else has it, so no one else can fulfill it. It is yours alone.”

Blake models godly responsibility – rejecting passivity and accepting responsibility – in his fatherhood and through his work at ASC. He is courageous to say No to good projects and good things that are not his calling. When he does say Yes he means that he’s ready, willing and able to throw himself into things that are in his calling. I knew that Blake would have no problem saying No to being a sponsor, if it wasn’t going to work on his or ASC’s end. That let me ask freely. I’m so thankful that Blake and ASC are willing to stand with me, and really Arsenal Tech High School, in this project.

Joyce Jackson and Arsenal Tech High School

There was another reason I thought of Blake. His mom, Joyce, attended Arsenal Tech High School. She’s been a part of Tech’s impressive alumni organization for years, and always very supportive of Tech related things. Since the story is about the 2013-2014 Tech team that won the Indiana State Basketball championship I thought it might be a good fit.

Turned out it was. I’m so thankful to Blake, Renata, Joyce and their family’s support on this project. And I’m thankful for great companies like American Senior Communities (ASC) who are under a great deal of strain during this time of Covid-19.

Interview

I caught up with Blake a while back and got some basics on ASC. 

Sunnyshore Studio: When did ASC get started?

Blake: ASC is turning 20 this year, though the family has actually been providing housing for seniors for more than 50 years.

Sunnyshore Studio: What is ASC’s mission?

Blake: ASC’s mission is to compassionately serve each customer with quality care and excellence.  We hope to be a world-class health organization in each community we serve that does the right thing, at the right time, the right way for the right reasons.  

Sunnyshore Studio: Tell me more about the company?

Blake: Caring people make the difference at ASC. We hope folks can feel it the minute they walk into our communities and meet our team.  We are honored to serve a large part of our state, with more than 80 locations across Indiana and in Louisville, and a broad range of living arrangements and care alternatives. To learn more, www.ASCCare.com would be a good place for a person to start.

New Screening Date

Because of Covid-19 and Indiana’s Shelter in Place order, we had to reschedule the WE ARE FAMILY exclusive screening at the Newfield’s Toby Theater (Indiana Museum of Art). It was originally set for Saturday, June 13. The Exclusive screening has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 19. Stay tuned for more information. 

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