hank merges sig

First Presbyterian Church is suggesting that members take a "Peace and Civility" pledge on the premise that ...

"The church can offer a message of hope and reconciliation to a nation that is hurting and deeply divided. We urge those who claim the name of Christ to 'put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.'"

The pledge surfaced following the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.

Among the affirmations ...

"We pledge that when we disagree, we will do so respectfully, without falsely impugning the other's motives, attacking the other's character, or questioning the other's faith. We will be mindful of our language, being neither arrogant or boastful in our beliefs as we strive to 'be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.'"

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Nine members of St. Patrick's Church have just departed on a mission trip to Jamaica. The Rev. Samuel Houser, pastor, explains:

"We will be helping to provide housing, hope and care for people in need. ... Shoes have been collected through the children of St. Patrick's School and will be distributed to those who regard shoes as a highly prized possession. ..."

Columns by Hank Merges, a local writer, appear Tuesday and Thursday in The York Dispatch. Reach Hank at hmerges@yorkdispatch.com or 854-1575.