MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

January 16, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK – Get involved with church this year

I would like to respond to an editorial in your paper on Dec. 31, titles “Resolve to improve Muskogee.” Generally I found the editorial to include lots of good suggestions for improvement of our community and I heartily endorse that idea. As laudable as the suggestions were however; I found that one critical item was missing from the list; participation in a religious community.

The reasons active participation in a religious community is important to the wider Muskogee community were outlined in an article in the Dec. 24 issue of the New York Times, “The Moral Animal” written by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. In his op-ed piece, Rabbi Sacks pointed out that “research shows that frequent church or synagogue-goers were more likely to give money to charity, do volunteer work, help the homeless, donate blood, help a neighbor with housework, spend time with someone who was feeling depressed, offer a seat to a stranger or help someone find a job. Religiosity as measured by church or synagogue attendance is , he found, a better predictor of altruism than education, age, income, gender or race. Religion is the best antidote to the individualism of the consumer age.”

Churches and religious institutions of all kinds provide a vital, core component to the nature of our community. If more people in Muskogee attended and actively participated in their churches, Muskogee would be a better place indeed.

I am confident that I can speak on behalf of most, if not all churches in Muskogee. Get involved with a church this year, there is plenty of room for you to help.

THE REV. BOB WICKIZER, RECTOR

Grace Episcopal Church

Muskogee

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