Planning solutions to improve prosperity

Published 10:59 am Saturday, July 30, 2016

By Dawn Burleigh

Discussions for solutions to reduce the lost of life not just to gun violence but to threats of illiteracy, drugs, alcohol, prison, poverty, suicide and domestic violence were held at a Town Hall Meeting Thursday evening at Orange Church of God.

Kayla Bishop, program director at Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), spoke on the need for advocates.

Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes, according to CASA official website.

“We need more male advocates,” Bishop said. “We have six males out of 58 volunteers.”

Bishop also said the children are, in many cases, lacking a good father figure.

“They need a mentor to be a man of character,” Bishop said.

Pastor Demetrius Moffett said the abuse in homes was contributing to the loss of lives as well.

“We need to reconnect between the churches and the community,” Moffett said.

A citizen was concerned with how one should deal with those suffering from mental abuse, an abuse not visible seen by the eye.

Moffett said it is a matter of the churches in the area working together.

“It is a matter of finding what services each church has and directing those in need to receive those services,” Moffett said. “The first part of the solution is a working relationship between churches. We are here to build the Kingdom of God not our churches.”

Reverend Ray McDowell, of Orange First Church of the Nazarene, said the challenge was how to come together as one as people of Orange.

“My concern is the issues address after the individual has gone over the cliff and crashed,” McDowell said. “How to create situations where friendships can build. When someone holds up a Black Lives Matter sign, I want to know what you think. We don’t do enough together to know.”

McDowell explained how at one time, his church held basketball sessions for the local youth and now the sessions have moved to another church.

“There is no interaction between neighborhoods no,” McDowell said. “There was no interaction then either.”

An Outreach Program was initiated during the meeting.

“To bring about change, you have to be out there,” E. L. Nickerson Jr. said. “You have to speak their language which comes from interaction. That is true in any culture.”

Nickerson will work with the pastors as a liaison in the community.

“We need to conquer the fear we may like each other,” Nickerson said.

The program is not just for pastors but for congregations of area churches as well.

“It starts with relationships,” Pastor John Warren of First United Methodist Church said.