Who is to be welcomed

To the editor:

On a recent trip I took a detour to one of the bourbon trail distilleries. On a road sign indicating the bourbon distillery to the left and the famous Gethsemane monastery to the right, we ended up going to the right. It was the right decision.

In the monastery’s gift shop was the porcelain sign which read, “All are to be welcomed as Christ.” This sign now hangs in my foyer as a reminder to me on how to treat others.

The more I think of the complex challenge to resolving homelessness in our community, the more I find myself reflecting on this simple but profound statement.

Recognizing a number of local churches’ response to house overnight a number of mothers and their children during these cold winter nights, the more I question how we as a Christian community will allow but one family to sleep in the streets or in their cars.

Yes, even though we have our community’s sincere response to homelessness through Mountain Projects, Pathways, Habitat for Humanity, EACH, Haywood County Health and Social Services, the sheriff and police departments and others, this challenge obviously appears to require additional attention and action.

Perry Hines, former director of Open Door, had an arrangement with a number of local motels that opened their doors to the homeless at a discounted rate.

Perhaps we should seriously consider approaching a number of nearby lodging facilities including motels, conference centers, and camps which might restart that practice. Wouldn’t these venues offer more dignified and private accommodations than sleeping on cots in an open bay?

Yes, as a Christian community, should not everyone be welcomed as Christ?

Jim and Janine Geenen

Retired Waynesville couple

Junk yards fill a vital need

To the editor:

This is in response to a recent letter titled “Clean up junk yards.”

First of all, I would like to say that apparently he has way too much time on his hands to go all over our county looking for places of business whose appearances displease him. Why do you feel that you need to make it your business to complain about the way places of business look?

Second of all, the junk yard on Howell Mill Road is a junk/salvage yard. It is a business that recycles metals from scrap cars, unused washing machines, etc.

Perhaps if this business was not here, then some people might just throw some of these items off the side of the roads or abandoned places, which, in my opinion, would look really disgusting.

It’s a place of business where a local man tries to work hard to provide for his family, contribute back to the county and live the American dream of running a business.

Also, the man who runs this business did not move here 25 years ago. He was born and raised in this county.

No it’s not the Biltmore House nor the Taj Mahal, but a junk yard.

Thirdly, I would like to mention that there are alternate routes to take in Waynesville other than Howell Mill road, but for those who must absolutely go this route, then perhaps looking the other way from the junk yard might help ease their displeasure.

Lastly, if possible, if the letter writer is looking for things to fill time, rather than touring our county looking for ways to change it, then maybe taking up playing bingo or whittling would be a better fit.

Debra Henson

Canton

Register to vote

To the editor:

Thanks for the opportunity to speak to your subscribers on the issue of the importance of voting and seriousness of the oath that our elected officials subscribe to.

Back in the 1800s, the town of Waynesville was incorporated. Waynesville and Haywood County has been good for its citizens and has been an attraction for tourists from all over.

When Waynesville was incorporated, the elected representatives with their hand on the Bible, pledged to faithfully carry out to the best of their ability and knowledge their responsibilities “so help me God.”

Now in 2019, our Alderman swear to support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of North Carolina, and to execute the duties of the office of Alderman of the town of Waynesville according to the best of my skill and ability and according to law ‘so help me God.”

In doing so they are recognizing the authority of God and they are soliciting – asking God to help them in carrying out their responsibilities.

“So help me God” — so (for this reason therefore) Help (assist) me God.

As citizens (residents of voting age and registered voters) we are to vote in people of reputation who subscribe to the values they have sworn to uphold. In the past election, approximately one-third of registered voters participated in the election.

I encourage all registered voters to exercise their privilege to vote and vote for men and women who will come along side us and support and pledge to be “one Nation under God so help me God.”

Pastor Roy Kilby

Bethel Baptist Church

Praise the Lord

To the editor:

God does things in mysterious ways in his time.

I arrived at Canton First Baptist Church at 9 a.m. Tuesday still looking at about 350 coats and worrying what I could do with these.

Up to then we had only distributed about 50 to 70 coats. About 10 a.m., here comes the crowds. At 11:30 a.m., almost all the tables were cleared.

Wow, I was shocked. As fast as they arrived, they left with arms full of coats, thank yous and Happy Thanksgivings. Some did take time to get a doughnut and a cup of fresh, hot coffee.

I am home tonight with a happy heart. Praise God and a happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for your hard work.

I’m grateful for all the Canton area churches, individuals, businesses and organizations in our community. Without your contribution we would not have had 400 really good, beautiful coats to distribute to the lovely people who needed our love.

I’m especially grateful for the work of the Rev. Kevin McDaniel did to see that all was functioning as needed. He was just everywhere and helping everyone.

Good job Rev. Kev.

Jean Parris

Canton

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