Recently, the Rockland Congregational Church received extensive news coverage and comment regarding a family of two adults and three children found living on property owned by the church. Because arrests resulted from the situation, it was reported in the press. The reporting was limited, as were statements on behalf of the church, in order to not sensationalize an unfortunate situation in which a family that has been homeless needed help.
The mission and covenant of the Rockland Congregational Church calls us to share and to help those in need whenever we can and however we can. Finding those people in the woods behind the church has given us an opportunity to try to help them move their lives forward. Our pastor, the Rev. Seth Jones, is involved in organized efforts to help people in need find food, shelter and support. He has been working in that area for several years with the hearty support of our whole congregation.
The assistance provided by the Rockland Congregational Church to people in crisis takes many forms, including counseling, networking and, sometimes, financial support. We are limited in what we can do. And because all of the work we do in this way is of necessity, done privately to respect the dignity of those involved, we understand when others who criticize us cannot understand the situation. Our church helps people one at a time, and each situation is unique.
Yet our limited ability to help is multiplied by our faith in the unlimited support of the One in whose name we gather. We take these responsibilities seriously but also with great joy at what we can do in this troubled world.
Rockland Congregational Church
The winning punch
Jeffrey Selinger’s Aug. 15 OpEd is correct in that the current race for governor is different from the 2010 race. Maine voters no longer have to wonder what Maine would be like under Gov. Paul LePage. They’ve already endured four years of vetoes, budget cuts and a struggling economy, with the majority of voters disapproving of LePage.
The other big difference is that there are new candidates in this race but no new faces. Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud has a long history of working in Congress and in the Maine Legislature. We know of his ability to work across the aisle, listen and get things done. He’s fought for our veterans and seniors and working families. Mainers know and trust Mike.
The same cannot be said for independent Eliot Cutler. He has been noticeably absent during the past four years of LePage’s reign, sitting out of some of our state’s most important debates. He has only resurfaced in time to go for the glory while jeopardizing the state’s well-being.
LePage’s best chance of getting reelected hinges on the Maine electorate splitting between Cutler and Michaud. Maine cannot afford another four years of LePage, especially when his reelection will be the result of a “default” victory. This means the time is now to rally around Michaud.
He’s already in a tight two-way race with LePage, and any other candidates are a distraction away from LePage’s awful record, failed policies and hurtful comments that insult our state’s reputation. Mainers deserve one boxing match this fall, and, if we’re lucky, Michaud will deliver the winning punch.
Could someone explain to me why a marginal country person, such as myself, is guilty of a crime if I dump a peck of apples out to lure in a deer to help feed us through the winter; but some hotshot outfitter can make top dollar bringing in trophy hunters to shoot a bear over piles of stale jelly donuts and is not only acting legally but is defended as upholding hunting’s finest traditions?
The Aug. 22 BDN news brief, “Islamic State threat ‘beyond anything'” describes ISIL as surpassing the threat posed even by al-Qaida. I am wondering whether it even surpasses the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” which launched a fool’s errand that cost American lives, the U.S. $3 trillion and counting, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and destabilized that country and the Middle East.
Fear mongering is a most powerful weapon of the weapons industry — sadly, our largest exporter.
At some local lake association meetings, I was asked where I lived on the lake. I replied, “I have no property on any lake.”
It seems that some people believe lake association members are such only because they are lake property owners. I emphasize that anybody can and should be a member of a lake association. It is not just for property owners.
A lake association is proactive in preserving and protecting a lake for now and for in the future. If people are able to swim, fish, boat and do any other recreational activities on a lake, they should realize these activities cannot be taken for granted.
The particular lake association there is probably doing water quality testing and paying for it. It may have courtesy boat inspections and receive grants but also pay people out of its own association funds to do them.
Inspections prevent non-native invasive plants and animals from entering a lake. People should appreciate this as it does not take long for invasive aquatic plants especially to ruin any water body for all recreational activities and to lower property values. They may have fun and educational activities open to all because the concept of community participation is important.
From their own association funds, they also may donate money to support their communities in various ways financially. They also use their own funds to participate in important conservation and educational activities that can benefit everyone.
So become a member of a lake association, even if you do not live on a lake. Your membership fee will help preservation and protection of lakes for all of us now and in the future.
Karen E. Holmes