Letter to the editor – Church and Government Skate Together

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Dear Editor,

Municipal Election: My View

Can Church and Government Skate Together?

An open air skating rink in North Grenville would be a great asset to the children and young people of local resident families. The idea of such a rink and the actual building of it surfaced at the Southgate Church property on French Settlement Road a few years ago. Initially it was built to provide an outlet of energy for the extensive number of youth attending the church.

Last year the opportunity appeared to expand the rink into a Senators’ sponsored facility or even to provide a home for the Canada 150 rink, used on Parliament Hill.

Voices were raised in North Grenville whether a Senators’ rink should better be located in Riverside Park to be easier accessible and managed by the municipal staff rather than church volunteers.

Meanwhile the church leadership made a stronger case for continuing the existing open air rink beside their building based on youth participation during the first rink. Significant funds were available for the expansion. Municipal management in Riverside Park would mean an increase in property taxes.

Recently the church and municipality agreed that the church rink, available to youth from the whole community, would receive assistance from the municipality in handling the finances, while (church) volunteers would manage the ice.

Can church and government skate together? Both church and government have a long history. Both social institutions have exercised influence and power over the population. Both institutions have recent leaders with a record of praiseworthy and abusive behaviour.

Both institutions offer a public service. Church offers the service of public worship of the Creator while government offers the service of public order. Neither church nor government as social institutions has legs to skate. That leads to the minister and the mayor as appointed personalities or officials from each institution to make the rink a reality for the youth. The power of public worship connects with the benefit of public order for all citizens. In principle we should applaud their partnership to make the outdoor rink in North Grenville possible for all youth.

Can you visualize the pastor’s son and the mayor’s daughter skating together on the new rink with a multitude of other North Grenville youth? Whether he will become a pastor and she will become a mayor is the secret of their generation. Please, join me in watching them skate this winter.

Harmen Boersma

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