A church of community
The article “Empty no more: French churches get new roles” in the Sept. 4 Weekly is inspiring. It has relevance for me as a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lewiston, Maine. We are a small worshipping congregation that for over 20 years has provided rent-free space to a social service agency called the Trinity Jubilee Center.
The center provides meals, a food bank, counseling, job assistance, mail and phone services, and doctor visits for free. It helps poor and homeless people, and now a large immigrant population, find work and meet food needs.
We have taken the pews out of our main sanctuary and painted a labyrinth on the refinished floor, and we are in the process of welcoming all community groups to use our space. Rental costs are minimal, and we offer free weekly concerts and space for lessons, programs, and meetings to our neighbors.
Nancy B. Chandler
The right way to do it?
As suggested in the Aug. 14 Global Currents article “With affirmative action gone, a new target: Legacy admissions,” there may not be a legal basis for abolishing legacy admissions.
But ending this practice would be the logical sequel to ending affirmative action. While legacy admission policies are colorblind, they disadvantage anyone not of the upper class, especially first-generation applicants. If ending the practice opens more opportunities for nonwhite students, all the better. That is the right way to do it – not through racial preferences.
A flowery tribute
What a wondrous double-page photo of the cyclists in the monthlong Tour de France in the July 24 Weekly issue. Each year, they somehow cycle through sunflowers along the route in France or other countries.
This flowery photo really steals the show from those amazing athletes. I feel the photo honors this strenuous sport and also Ukraine, where the sunflower is the national flower. The country has its sunflower emblem along with its blue-and-yellow flag. The photographer really did a flowery special for the Monitor. Thank you for sharing. I want to frame it for our son’s Red Lantern Cycles bike shop in Menlo Park, California.
Belgrade Lakes, Maine
The issue of reparations to African Americans for the travesty of slavery should lead all Americans to confront their own history. Part of that history is the extent to which reparations may have been paid long ago. This was raised in a slightly different context by President Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address as he confronted the tragedy of over 620,000 deaths in the Civil War. Lincoln explained the war’s carnage as atonement for slavery. In praying for a speedy end to the war, Lincoln said:
“Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said. ‘The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’”
Lincoln courageously articulated that the war’s horrific casualties were retribution for the equally horrific crime of slavery. In this way, the president explained how the sacrifices in the war atoned or compensated for the crimes committed. As Americans address reparations, Lincoln’s words and the 600,000 war deaths should not be overlooked.