WHO we are
Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MÂCHÉ) is a statewide organization for parents who have chosen to home educate. MÂCHÉ serves Minnesota home educators year round, endeavoring to provide them with information and to act as an effective vehicle to facilitate and safeguard the Christian home education opportunity in Minnesota.
MÂCHÉ was formed in 1983 to encourage Christian families in accord with biblical principles. It is MÂCHÉ's desire to assist parents in passing on to their children a godly heritage instilled through Judeo-Christian principles and to "bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4b NASB).
MÂCHÉ is a Minnesota non-profit corporation recognized as tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations are tax deductible.
Some of the year-round benefits of being a MÂCHÉ member are as follows:
THE HISTORY OF MÂCHÉ
The Lord brought the Schurke and Coleman families together in the fall of 1983. During the previous year, Roger Schurke had met and worked with Michael Farris in Olympia, Washington, during the time when the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) was born. The Schurkes had already been homeschooling for five years. Roger's work as an attorney with Mike gave him insight into how to start and maintain an organization.
Upon returning to Minnesota, Roger called pastors and others he knew to find out if there was a state homeschool organization. Many he spoke with referred him to Jim Coleman. Jim and Pam Coleman were meeting with a group that had scientologists among its leadership. Jim, Pam, Roger, and Merryl (Roger's wife) discussed this dilemma and decided that, because most homeschoolers at that time were Christians, Minnesota should have a homeschool organization with Christian leadership.
For several weeks, this matter was committed to prayer. It was soon agreed that the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MÂCHÉ) should hold its organizational meeting. Approximately 50 people attended ths meeting in November of 1983 at the Powderhorn Park Building in South Minneapolis. Among the attendees were many who continue to homeschool and remain involved with MÂCHÉ today.
A decision was made that the board members would be home educating Christian couples. The initial member list was kept in the Coleman basement in a container which was originally a cigar box. That list has since grown to over 3,000 and is now kept in a computer in the MÂCHÉ office.
The first MÂCHÉ conference was held at Faith Academy in Fridley with about 300 people in attendance. There were no exhibitors or suppliers, just speakers. The Coleman and Schurke families did all of the mailings by hand and furnished the coffee, cups, napkins and donuts for the first three or four conferences until growth made this impossible. Subsequent conferences were held at Grace Church of Edina, the Edina Community Center, Way of the Cross Church, Crystal Evangelical Free Church and Bloomington Assembly of God Church.
In 1996, organizational growth and interest made it necessary to begin convening the annual conference at the St. Paul Civic Center, which was later named RiverCentre. Since then, conferences have also been held in Rochester and Duluth convention centers. This annual event with an attendance consistently over 5,000 people includes 90+ workshops, 110+ exhibitors, opportunities for mingling with experienced home educating parents and support group leaders, and plenty of options for food and fellowship.
In 1986 with the help of the Lord and other interested organizations and people, MÂCHÉ was able to pack the chambers of the Minnesota Legislature with homeschooling families, making a very favorable impression upon the state leaders who at that time were writing Minnesota's first home education laws. Prior to 1987 many families were charged with abuse, neglect or negligence because the school they conducted was not "essentially equivalent" to the public or government schools.
While we currently homeschool freely, every session of the Minnesota Legislature and the U.S. Congress introduces bills that would adversely affect home educators. Over the years MÂCHÉ has continued to be used of the Lord to take the lead at the Legislature when parents’ educational rights and freedoms have been jeopardized.
MÂCHÉ works year round to encourage Minnesota home educators through their various events and publications and to safeguard Christian home education.