Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Ghost Walks Down Main Street

My wife and I are active in the Matthews Heritage Museum which is dedicated to the long-rich history of a well preserved community in North Carolina. Last week we participated in their annual “Ghost Walk” where attendees walk about the historic downtown area accompanied by a tour guide. At various points, the walk stops and people in costume emerge and relate some information about living in Matthews in the 19th and 20th centuries. The walk is family-friendly and is not a scary “ghost” experience. The objective is to impart historical information and to ensure the next and future generations know the roots of their beloved community.

I played a character who died from the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. My wife played Susie Clark who lived in the structure that currently houses the Heritage Museum. Susie was known for making Raggedy Ann dolls for the local children.

I’m a transplanted New-Jerseyan and wished the community where we had lived committed itself to similar historical preservation and community education. The town in New Jersey had a long history dating back to the Revolutionary War. But somewhere along the way, the town seemed to have lost most of that identification and focused on McMansions.

Recently, George O. Wood, the General Superintendent of the AG, focused on the same concept in the context of spiritual matters. In a recent mailing he discussed the discipling of the next generation. Successful transition from one generation of believers to the next does not happen by happenstance, but only by concerted and dedicated effort. Whether one is transferring spiritual values or historical facts about a community, it takes committed people willing to preach the truth just like it takes committed people willing to preserve history for the next and future generation. When you think about it, both objectives are similar.

George O. Wood uses these Biblical verses to make his point: Psalm 48:12-13 _ “Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell them to the next generation.”

If we do not get serious about preparing the next generation for their spiritual future, we are sending them into a battle ill-prepared. Likewise, if we do not establish roots of history and family we send our future generation into a battle we may consider not worth fighting for.

Robert Parlante
November 2016

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