“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
To say that the events that have occurred in the past week are disturbing would be an understatement. The growing violence and divisiveness taking place in our country are symptoms that we must all step back and assess so that we may determine a better path forward. How can we as a society appreciate others’ differences without lashing out in harmful and destructive ways? Certainly this is not new as conflicts among people of differing beliefs, socio-economic structures, racial make-ups and geographic differences go back to the beginning of time.
Sadly, it often takes a tragedy of epic proportions before we are able to hit the reset button and build a sense of community that helps one another. I think about last year’s shootings in Charleston and the response by the Mother Emanuel congregation to love and forgive rather than protest in hate. I remember the outpouring of charity and community service that took place after the skies poured out more than 20 inches of rain on our state that caused historic flooding, resulting in catastrophic loss of life and property. There is always going to be good and bad elements in our lives. It’s our choice as to how we respond to those difficulties. Hopefully we can pause and respond in a loving way as our Savior Jesus Christ has called us to do.
I am thankful for the role our public safety officials play in our society, remembering especially our dedicated Chapin Police force. At the end of their shifts, they are just like many of us – fathers, sons, brothers, husbands and friends. Every day, our officers put themselves in harm’s way. They chose their profession because of a deep, personal desire to serve others. If you see an officer while you are out this week, please take a moment and share a word of support and thank them for what they do in our community.
On another note, the Lexington Avenue Streetscape project has been delayed until after the Labor Day Festival and Parade. The engineering firm ran into some unexpected issues that resulted in not being able to complete the project in time before the Labor Day weekend. Given the number of people who come out to the festival and concerns for their safety and well-being, we decided it was best to defer the start of that construction work until after the holiday.
Later this week I will be attending the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s annual conference in Charleston. It will be a good time to learn about issues impacting our local governments and exploring best practices that can be implemented in Chapin to improve our quality of life and enhance our services. I look forward to the sharing of ideas and meeting new contacts that can benefit our town.
Town Council is scheduled to meet next Tuesday evening at 6 pm. We will be recognizing several folks who have committed much time and service to our community over the years. SGT David Amick will be retiring later this month from the Lexington County Sheriff’s department, and he has been a fixture in Chapin for years. Dennis Lamkin is stepping down from his post on the Zoning Board of Appeals after many years of dedicated service.
And we will recognize Jack Enright before he heads up to Clemson University next month. As you know, Jack was injured in a lacrosse game in the spring of 2015, and has worked extremely hard on his path to recovery while also being able to graduate with his classmates in early June. Chapin residents and really people from all over the Midlands and the larger lacrosse community have rallied to pray for Jack and his family and support numerous fundraisers to assist with his medical expenses. We are pleased that he’s made such great progress and look forward to wishing him well as he embarks on his next chapter.
We have been collecting resumes for a part-time Town Clerk, and the Council will be reviewing the applicants over the next few weeks. We hope to hire someone for the position at the August council meeting.
Finally, just a reminder that we are still collecting responses to our 2016 Community Survey which is due by Friday, July 22. It’s available online and paper copies are also available at Town Hall, the Chapin Library and at the Chapin Chamber of Commerce. Please take a few moments to answer our questions about program, services and quality of life in Chapin.