Saturday evening, I had the privilege of attending an excellent
piano recital at Gilroy United Methodist Church. The room was
Saturday evening, I had the privilege of attending an excellent piano recital at Gilroy United Methodist Church. The room was warm. The piano was adequate. The fine artist played several original compositions and talked about his music and his inspirations. The price was right. I enjoyed the 90-minute performance with 13 additional people who made up the entire audience.
The Dispatch reported in an extensive article beginning on page one, that last Wednesday’s Arts Alliance meeting at Lizarran Restaurant hosted 100 local residents, who spent several hours talking about the arts in Gilroy, and the importance of having arts events in our community. The only mention in the same edition of the Dispatch about the piano concert was a paragraph in Kat Teraji’s column.
Three days after the enthusiastic meeting, 14 people comprise the entire audience at a concert. Apparently, 99 of the 100 individuals had important plans for the Saturday following their Lizarran gathering. The only person at both the meeting and the concert was Kat Teraji, a member of the Methodist congregation, who “walks the walk” when musical activities occur.
Actions speak louder than words.
The City of Gilroy will need a dedicated building for performing arts when there is a consistent, capacity audience in the seats of the venues currently in use.
Candace Fazzio, Gilroy
Column on lost faith prompts pastor to offer alternatives
I felt badly for Lisa Pampuch when I read her Nov. 23 column about how her faith created fear, resentment, frustration, and confusion in her life.
It was also unfortunate that religious people had attempted to manipulate her, instill fear in her and threaten her. As a pastor, I would never want to be affiliated with people like that either. But unlike Lisa, I would counsel others who face a similar situation, not to walk away from their faith.
Instead, walk away from that church, minister, or congregation and find a healthy spiritual environment that helps and encourages people in their faith journey. Find a church that challenges people to actually search the “Holy Text” and apply its principles to one’s life.
Like Lisa, many have stated there are contradictions in the Holy Text, but few can actually point them out.
From the time skeptics began declaring inconsistencies in the ancient writings, scholars have been able to refute those claims and set the record straight. Lisa also claimed that science disproves the Holy Text. To the contrary, I believe careful examination of all the facts actually proves its accuracy and trustworthiness. In fact, geographic locations, historical documents, and archeological discoveries all support and verify the truthfulness and precision of the Bible’s authors.
As for Lisa’s disillusionment regarding religious hypocrisy, I can only say I’m sorry. Unfortunately, it does exist in the faith community.
However, hypocrisy exists in many other areas of life as well. Bankers, doctors, politicians and others often fail in their duties by fraud, malpractice, and outright dishonesty. Even so, it doesn’t make all bankers, physicians and politicians hypocrites. The vast majority of those in the banking industry, the medical profession, and politics are honest, sincere and reliable representatives in their fields.
Let’s face it, when a runner sets out to train for a marathon and they experience an injury, they don’t just give up and walk away from the competition. Instead, they recover over time, make adjustments in their training and continue to persevere. The goal is to ultimately cross the finish line.
Certainly one thing that Lisa and I agree on is that life would be pretty boring with the absence of difficulties, challenges, and problems. Although, to be quite honest, there are times I would be more than willing to try the boring life. However, not only would life be mundane, we would also lack the character and faith building opportunities these problems afford us. This is the reason I believe the all-knowing, all-powerful, and always-present God of the Holy Text, doesn’t prevent problems from happening in our lives.
Admittedly most of the problems we all face pale in comparison to the challenge that Lisa’s child had to face in overcoming a life threatening illness. But as Lisa pointed out, a challenge like that puts life in its proper perspective. We learn that the most important things in life are good health, relationships, and for me, like many others, faith in God.
With Christmas upon us, I encourage you to take stock once again in that Child who was born to die in order that we might be brought back into a right relationship with God. Jesus himself said it only takes a little faith.
Mark Turner, associate pastor,
South Valley Community Church, Gilroy