Memories of Sardis church alive and well
As we travel down life's highway, sometimes out-of-the-blue old memories are hastened to mind by unexpected occurrences. The circumstances that jog our memories are usually not important, but our memories are. Experts say that our childhood experiences or the early chapters of our lives actually mold us into the individuals we become.
My childhood memories were awakened abruptly by the disturbing news that the United Methodist Conference has closed the doors to the beloved Sardis United Methodist Church ("Parishioners shocked by closing," June 30). I was shocked that a church that has survived 200 years could be shut down at the drop of a hat.
My memories at Sardis run deep. It was there I attended Sunday school as a boy and found salvation during a hot August revival. It was there I was married and later took my own kids to Sunday school. It was there my brother sat on a piano stool at the age of 10 and became the church pianist for the next 30 years. It was there we formed a quartet that sang in hundreds of churches and concerts for more than two decades. And it is also there so many of my dear family members and friends lie in peaceful rest.
In the early 1960s, dedicated members, including my dad, worked tirelessly to build a new church having to do most of the work with their own hands. That building replaced the old wooden structure where steadfast members dodged flying wasps in the winter and used hand fans in the summer.
Sadly the old church bell I rang as a child hangs silent in the rafters ever ready to ring in the good news when the UMC decides to unlock the doors again. It is my daily prayer that somehow an agreement can be reached so that a church that has done so much good can continue to mold lives and create precious memories for generations to come.
- Deryl Duncan
Don't allow powerful to divide the people
I agree with the letter to the editor ("Maintaining balance in debate is difficult," June 25) that bad-mouthing those who disagree with one's personal ideology is unbecoming. As is demeaning the character and patriotism of fellow citizens who may disagree with you. But the powers-that-be seem to love it. A divided people are much easier to control and manipulate. It is not wise to believe everything we hear from one party or the other.
It is time to stop waiting for some hero to rescue us - it only demeans our own ability to take care of ourselves. We should not surrender our power waiting for some well-to-do person or government to save us. Money-worshipping is brainwashing far too many of us. I sense that the powers-that-be are afraid that one day we the people will wake up and see the true threat to our rights, freedoms and happiness. The recent eminent domain ruling alone should have us all up in arms. Stripping homeowners of their property rights is a gross abuse of power.
Perhaps it is time to stop fighting over the bits and pieces left behind by the nation's elite 1 percent, which I believe owns 40 percent of the wealth. Far too many of us are lulled into a false sense of security believing that they view us as equal.
But remember, we are many and they are few. Let us not surrender our dignity and rights as a people - far too many have fought and died for them. In fact, they are still fighting and dying today.
- Eileen Stewart