Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding the big top.
According to an announcement on its website, declines in ticket sales and “the transition of elephants off the road” were cited by Kenneth Feld, chief executive of Feld Entertainment, current owner of the 140-plus-year-old entertainment institution, as among the factors making the circus an “unsustainable business.”
Various media outlets announced the closing of the circus in top-of-the-hour roundups Jan. 15.
The Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative just finished a full year of organizing free community meals. When I started asking church leaders about doing this in 2015, a couple of ministers said I would never get this off the ground. When there is a will, there is a way.
In November 2015, I had a free community meal meeting and invited all the Whitehall-Coplay faith-based organizations and other groups. Many came to this meeting. None of the naysayers attended. I explained the program, and every one of the 2016 monthly meals were eagerly scheduled.
Words are powerful.
Think about it. Those distinct elements of speech or writing have caused war, divorce, murder and other atrocities. All that mayhem because of words, which are nothing more than sounds that come out of our mouths or squiggly lines, circles, loops and dots connected in different patterns.
But different sequences of words can lead to healing, peace and love.
At the end of each year, I am glued to the television as we reflect on the celebrities and well-known personalities who have died during the year.
I didn’t know any of them personally, but I certainly benefited in some way from their talents in film, television, books or music.
What we didn’t hear about were the United States military personnel killed in 2016.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Cooper Dayton, 42, of Woodbridge, Va., died Nov. 14, 2016, serving during Operation Inherent Resolve in northern Syria.
During the month of December, our lives are typically filled with special events, gift-giving, family gatherings and foods we only eat once a year. All of these aspects of the season bring most of us joy, but there is something else we experience during the holidays that contributes to our jolly demeanor at this time of year — the music.
I am always last — last to arrive, last to leave, last to get served at a banquet. Sometimes it happens due to my own fault, like because I am running late. But many times, if not most, I am at the end of the line because I tend to hang around and talk. I always seem to find someone to connect with, even in a room full of strangers. It is both a blessing and a curse. I even had the lights turned off on me at a viewing once. “Mom’s last call at the funeral home” is one of those family stories that will go down in history.
This Christmas marks 15 years since my life was forever changed by the kindness and selflessness of others. As you’ll read below, my younger daughter, Katie, was hospitalized on Christmas Eve 2001. A situation that then seemed tragic revealed to our family an awesome and inspiring spirit.
(Printed in the Jan. 19, 2002, edition of The Press)
Have you heard the GOOD NEWS?
God has come to Earth
In a borrowed manger
In a wee one’s birth
Do you know he still lives
And His Spirit moves today
Through the followers He has chosen
Followers of The Way?
This way he came to teach
Is not the world’s, it’s true
He died so that we might
A life that breathes anew
Will we recognize Him
When we see Him now
In the eyes of those who ache
Or display a furrowed brow?
Oh, how the world longs for rescue
From others, as from self
Denise Continenza, chair of the Communities That Care group, attended our Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative meeting Nov. 22.
She relayed a great posting she saw on Facebook that was intended for Advent (the four Sundays before Christmas), but this can be done monthly or as often as you wish to participate. I mentioned to our meeting attendees that this would be the article I will write in December.
To the Editor:
Residents who are beginning to complain about the FedEx warehousing activities and other proposed warehouses in Allen Township need to remind themselves that twice voters in Allen Township refused a ballot referendum to preserve farmland and open space. For a small increase in taxes, life might be different, but life will never be the same.
In 30 years, we will be like surrounding townships (Hanover, Bethlehem) with no farms at all.
(Editor’s note: Stoffa is a former Northampton County executive.)