Letters to the editor - Wednesday
... and New Tomorrows
A wonderful thing happened on Council Street in downtown Salisbury last Sunday (March 17) afternoon. In the historic brick and light-filled Heritage Room, people gathered for music, food and drink, and community building. Lively teenagers, community leaders, people who find shelter with Rowan Helping Ministries, college students, artists, entrepreneurs and others enjoyed the music of Olivia Albertson, Allijah Motika and the band, Bombadil. Many were unknown to each other before their arrival. While some folks traveled from Mooresville, Lexington, Charlotte and Durham, most people were local. The Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration Concert was created to benefit the New Tomorrows Program of Rowan Helping Ministries. The event accomplished that purpose but it also accomplished something more.
It brought together participants and leaders from New Tomorrows, Livingstone College’s culinary program students and faculty, Catawba College’s popular music and theater arts management students and faculty, reporters from the Salisbury Post, some Rowan Helping Ministries staff and board members, owners and managers of area businesses Jubilee Balloons and Sonic, and excellent up-and-coming musicians for a few interactive hours in which the differences in our life stories were not as important as the temporary community we built together in that room. Many thanks to all whose hearts and hands contributed to this amazing experience.
— Linda F. Kesler
Linda Kesler is an adjunct professor of Theatre Arts and Education at Catawba College and a volunteer with the New Tomorrows program of Rowan Helping Ministries.
A passion for teaching
I grew up in Salisbury but moved away in the early ’60s to attend college. The Post was the first newspaper I ever read. Recently, an old classmate sent a link to a Post article about Dottie Jean Kirk’s One-Woman Show at the Black Box Theater. She dedicated the show to one of her former teachers at Wiley Elementary School, Helen Jenkins.
Having also attended Wiley, I have many fond memories of Miss Jenkins. Over the years, when a discussion of the state of our public schools came up, I loved to share stories about my favorite teacher and how we needed more like her.
I do consider her to be the best teacher I ever had — and one of the most intimidating. She may have been short of stature, but she was definitely long on toughness and passion for teaching. Although many of the eighth-grade boys towered over her, we all cowered in her presence.
I vividly remember one day when she demonstrated her passion. From her classroom windows, the center tower of Boyden High could be seen over the treetops. To our amazement, she stood on top of her desk, pointed to Boyden and said, “Do you see that building over there? Well, that’s heaven. If you do not pass eighth-grade English, you aren’t going.”
Not long afterwards, I sat meekly in a conference with her and my mother. She explained there was a good possibility I would not be going to Boyden the next year if I did not pass English by learning how to diagram sentences. Thankfully, with her prodding and tutoring from the smart, older girl who lived across the street, I did learn how to diagram and I did make it to heaven that fall.
And guess what, throughout high school and college I had no difficulty with English grammar.
Thanks, Miss Jenkins, and yes, I do remember that it is incorrect to begin a sentence with a conjunction.
— Mike Russell
The right to pray
Our current county commissioners are American patriots of great character, just like those who prayed in private and in the earliest governmental meetings of this great nation we are fortunate to live in. It is their inalienable right, endowed by their creator (God), to seek the wisdom of this same creator (God) to make decisions that will benefit the citizens of Rowan County.
By engaging in prayer at their meetings, they make the statement that mere humans need greater wisdom to govern such a diverse population. To request, demand or have a judge declare that they pray a generic prayer or no prayer at all is an attempt to legislate a state-sanctioned “new religion” and to deny them the free exercise of their faith. I thank these commissioners for standing firm and hope they will not waver on this issue. Our American forefathers were willing to give up their wealth and even their lives to purchase freedom. This is an issue worth staking your reputations on, as well as your lives. Thank you for being willing to serve our county by getting elected by a majority of citizens who agree with you.
The picture on the front of the March 13 Salisbury Post says it all about your false accusers. Many of the rest of us have looked in some of the same wrong places as these folks. I invite you all to begin reading the Bible and attending a Bible-believing church where you may find deep joy in the creator (God) who gave his only son to pay for your sins and suffered the most miserable punishment so that you can experience real life, liberty and joy in this world and the next to come.
Just because you stand as the commissioners pray does not mean you are praying. Real prayer must come from a humble heart.
— Michael Koontz
Support for board
With all the attention drawn towards bullying these days and the incessant attempts to stop it, I believe the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) should take heed and stop bullying the Rowan County Commission and any other Christian taking the opportunity to pray to God. And as for the commissioners’ decision to fight to keep their prayers, I support you!
Time after time, I hear the ACLU (which I think of as the Anti-Christian League United) ranting and raving about the use of Christian prayers. I have yet to hear them voice one single complaint about Native American spirit dances, Hindu mantras, Muslim salah or Jewish shema or any other form of religious prayer. It’s always the Christian prayer that comes under attack. Long before the ACLU began its quest to annihilate the Christian faith, our forefathers founded this country on the that very belief ... the belief in God. Even the almighty dollar still has the inscription “In God we trust” embossed across the top of each one, yet they condemn a prayer of wisdom and guidance?
— Thomas McCora
A biblical answer
Regarding the prayer issue:
What did Jesus say? Please find the time to read Matthew 22:19-21. It gives an easy answer to this “problem.”
To me, there is not a debate at all.
— Marguerite Young
Help after accident
I would like to say a special thank you to a young mother who stopped and stayed as a witness to an accident we were involved in on N.C. Highway 150 on March 18. When most people would have left, she stayed.
I said a special prayer for you, and thank God for your help.
— Bobby Whitesides