New Castle News Opinion

Three Dog Night once observed that “One is the Loneliest Number.” Oneness, though, appears to be a different matter altogether — at least, that’s what a diverse group of local residents and community leaders are striving for.

These folks — representing various nationalities, ages, religions, beliefs and backgrounds — are planning a unity-themed event that they hope not only will put a face — or more, accurately, faces — on their goal but also launch a chain reaction of outreach and connecting that crosses all socio-economic lines and brings the community together as one.

Lest one think that this is just some sort of “I’d Like to Buy the World A Coke” feel-good gimmick, it is not.

New Castle in particular is in the midst of trying to make plans to move ahead, to determine a direction and then the means to travel it. Anything that fosters greater communication and understanding between the city’s various populations, congregations, political parties and planners is something we can get behind. And we urge others to do the same.

A three-hour kickoff event is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. March 31 at The Cathedral.

It will start with an hour of activities and meet-your-neighbor opportunities, then give way to an hour of inspirational music and a speaker in the auditorium.

The former will be provided by a community choir, as well as the New Castle and Union high school choirs.

The talk will come from Rhonda Carson- Leach, the senior program director for the Entrepreneurial Fellows Center, from the Innovation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.

According to an online bio, Carson-Leach “ has over 16 years of experience motivating small business owners, entrepreneurs,executives, nonprofit leaders, groups and individuals in a career or life transition to use their innate abilities to master their goalsand achieve success. Her

areas of expertise include leadership development, conflict resolution and group dynamics. She is also an executive life coach, management consultant, corporate trainer and motivational speaker in the Pittsburgh area.”

As such, we believe Carson-Leach will bring a message that local leaders and residents alike need to hear, and we encourage their attendance.

The Rev. David Young has been tagged as emcee for the event, which is not a religious gathering. Nonetheless, Young shared with The News a biblical excerpt that both he and we find appropriate.

Young spoke of the account of the exile of the Jews to Babylon in Chapter 29 of the Old Testament book of Jeremiah.

While other prophets foretold a short stay in Babylon and encouraged their listeners not to serve Babylon’s king, Jeremiah instead exhorted the Jews to begin building a life for themselves there, reminding them that God had declared 70 years of exile for them.

He tells them that God wants them to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

In other words, if the community you find yourself in isn’t too your liking, seek to make it better. The folks around you may be different from you, but by working together, the community becomes better for all.

Plan to be at The Cathedral on March 31 for more.

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