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Churches play vital role

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:As a pastor of a church in Basalt, I support the plans of Grace Church of the Roaring Fork Valley to build a church building on the land parcel they have purchased at 1776 Emma Road. The development plan that they have shared with all those who have been involved with this process envisions a church that will be a place for people in the Roaring Fork Valley to gather. In addition, they have done an excellent job of planning facilities that honor the land and preserve the heritage and history of the historic ranch property. They intend to provide places for quiet meditation and outdoor gatherings, as well as for community service, community gardens, soup kitchens, senior citizen gatherings, and other needs that can, and indeed will, arise in the future for our valley.Churches have intrinsic value for all members of a community. We provide places for people to meet and to gather; we offer emotional, spiritual and financial support to communities and individuals; we are always here, doing the ministry to which God has called us, to serve all in times of need. We have provided places for people to grieve and pray in times of national crisis, such as after September 11, 2001; we worked together (with the town of Basalt and other community members) on the Safe Place Project, a forum for conversation and learning about global politics in 2002 and 2003; and we support the local schools and worship communities with regular community services, such as the Baccalaureate and Thanksgiving. In all of these things, Grace Church has partnered with the local community to improve and help the common good. Now is our chance to partner with Grace Church as they invest in a permanent, and important, part of our community.We have more to gain from coming together than from being divided. I encourage everyone to be informed about Grace Church’s plans, and to consider the vital role churches serve for the whole community.The Rev. Mary Kate SchroedervicarSt. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Basalt


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