Letters: Other views on charity, mill sale

The Detroit News

Kindness abundant in Detroit

I am incredibly privileged to serve the church that I do, and I largely feel that way because of the remarkable people who are the congregation. Yesterday was a powerful reminder of the goodness of the people that I work with. During the service, a homeless woman entered the church, clearly in physical distress, her socks soaked and without boots, the temperature outside below 10 degrees.

Emanuel Hernandez, right, of The Southwest Economic Solutions, assists a homeless man as the UAW-GM Center For Human Resources and buildOn students address issues of homelessness through community service at Clark Park  in Detroit on Saturday March 25, 2017.

As I preached from the pulpit on the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., members of the church tended to her, got her comfortable on a sofa warming under a blanket, fed her and brought her coffee. The president of the congregation, even though we were headed to meetings directly after church, literally gave her the boots off his feet.

Others helped her by running out to buy her clothing and getting her situated with a shelter nearby. I have never been so proud to serve as the minister of a church as I am this one. I've been at other urban churches where I've seen homeless people escorted out of the back pews and sent back out into the cold of winter for fear that they might disturb the service.

Instead, this church and its good people displayed the sort of compassion and care for an individual in need that makes me so very proud to serve with and for them. My work often is to be a spiritual leader for others, but some days, some wonderful days, I have the experience of being inspired spiritually by the people themselves.

What a joy to work with such a community of love, justice, hope, and kindness as this.

The Rev. Stephen Butler Murray

 The First Unitarian Universalist Church


Mill sale needs proper review

There is currently a proposal in Wayne County that would allow for the sale of dilapidated mills to developers to be turned into restaurants, coffee shops, etc.  I am not, today, advocating one way or another for this proposal. I am advocating simply for proper discussion and review. These historic mills have sat for decades and have been inaccessible to the public. If there is a path to rehabilitate and preserve them in a way the public can enjoy, it is worthy of our time and attention. 

The end result may be the commission rejecting or approving the sale of two of these mills. Or we compromise with the executive's office on an alternative path. But either way, we would be doing Wayne County residents a disservice to not at least vet and discuss the plan.

While the sale of Phoenix Mill was approved by Commission, the full Wayne County Mill Run park proposal has not had one committee meeting.  We have received a limited amount of information.  There are some people who have intentionally circumvented the vetting process to rally the public against a proposal that has not seen proper discussion. In the process they are pushing us toward political in-fighting before all the facts are established.

No matter the party, no matter the policy position, elected officials need to have the full amount of information prior to making a public decision. Our constituents deserve no less from us every day. And they deserve no less from us on Mill Run.  

Terry Marecki, Commissioner

Wayne County District # 9