, Muskogee, OK

December 15, 2012

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Video article creates confusion in sentence

— The Today Show recently ran an article about the controversial sentencing of young Tyler Alred in a vehicular manslaughter offense. The sentence required Mr. Alred to attend church for 10 years.

As the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Muskogee, I have no problem with the concept, however, the sentence does seem to set a precedent equating church attendance with punishment or hard time in prison. The confusion in sentencing between grace and punishment wasn’t the only confusion in this video article however.

Apparently, Mr. Alred is sentenced to attend Chandler Road Church of Christ. The video clips taken by the Today Show only displayed the sign for this church. As the broadcaster continued to discuss the case and the sentencing to attend church, the video displayed images of the newly remodeled Grace Episcopal Church, both of the bell tower and the west stained glass window. No credit was given to Grace Episcopal Church.

I would like to clarify these two confusing issues.

First, outside of basic belief in Jesus Christ, Grace Episcopal Church is in no way connected with or affiliated with Chandler Road Church of Christ in Muskogee. Secondly, not one person who attends our parish would ever consider attendance at Grace Episcopal Church to be punishment, ever.

Since the Today Show seemed to intermix Grace Episcopal with Chandler Road Church of Christ, we would be delighted to provide a church home for Mr. Alred in his family. Everyone is in need of God’s grace and at Grace, everyone is truly welcome.