By the Rev. David Grey, Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church
“Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
Jude says that we have a responsibility to contend for the faith — that body of revealed truth that Jesus commanded us to teach others as we make disciples. We are to stand firm against all who would deny or pervert that truth.
There are four things regarding the faith that I draw from this passage in Jude.
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CSEA has filed federal lawsuits against the state Thruway Authority and Canal Corp., charging that last spring’s layoff of union members working at the agencies was unconstitutional.
The suits claim the state violated CSEA-represented employees’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process and equal protection of the law when it let go CSEA-represented workers while sparing all management employees and political appointees.
“The fact that only union members were targeted proves the layoffs were meant to punish them,” said CSEA president Danny Donohue. “If the layoffs were truly financially necessary, wouldn’t it make sense to get rid of at least one highly paid manager or appointee?”
The CSEA lawsuits quote statements made at a Thruway Authority and Canal Corp. board meeting, held seven days before the layoffs took place, that the agencies were “in solid shape financially” and “doing very well this year.”
The union contends that management used the layoffs to try to unfairly influence the outcome of negotiations by attempting to pressure union representatives to succumb to management demands. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s negotiator, Joseph Bress, is representing the Thruway and Canal management at the bargaining table.
The Safe Haven Museum and Education Center, located in Oswego, has announced that it has been chosen as the host site of the 2014 Jewish Motorcyclists Alliance Ride To Remember.
The Jewish Motorcyclists Alliance is an umbrella organization consisting of 44 clubs worldwide and has over 8,000 members.
Each year, a site is chosen for the annual Ride to Remember to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust and to raise money for organizations that support and promote Holocaust education and awareness.
The Safe Haven Museum and Education Center is dedicated to keeping alive the stories of the 982 refugees from World War II who were allowed into the United States as “guests” of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.
These refugees were housed at Fort Ontario in Oswego from August 1944 until February 1946.
“Safe Haven tells a very unique story as this shelter was the only one of its kind in the United States,” said Judy Coe-Rapaport, president of Safe Haven’s board of directors. “We are proud and honored to be chosen by the Jewish Motorcyclists Alliance for this memorable event.”
The Ride to Remember event will take place June 19-21 of 2014. This year, the event took place in Orange County, California and in Toronto, Canada in 2012. In the last nine years, the organization has raised over $400,000 for Holocaust awareness.
In conjunction with the Ride to Remember event, the museum will also be commemorating the 70th reunion of refugees and their families.
It will be the first time some of these people will have visited Oswego since leaving in 1946.
“We want the story told and how nice to celebrate 70 years with survivors and their families who were lucky enough to come to Oswego,” said Betsy Ahrens, president of the Jewish Motorcyclists Alliance.
Seventh grade students at the Fulton Junior High School are exploring the experiences of a world that is much different than their very own.
Through the Expeditionary Learning’s Common Core ELA Curriculum, students read the novel “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park and learned about a world that is on the continent of Africa, in the country of South Sudan, and during a time when children as young as six fled their villages and left their parents to escape war and starvation.
Through the novel and related classroom activities and assignments, the students learned about South Sudan during the Second Sudanese Civil War and how individuals, including the nearly 10,000 “Lost Boys of Sudan,” survived challenging environments.
In conjunction with the novel and classroom activities, former Lost Boy Chol Majok was invited to share some of his personal experience with the students during a recent visit.
Majok talked about the ‘Lost Boys’’ struggles to find food and water.
“We grew up with no parents,” he said. “We were parents and doctors to one another. All we had was one another.”
He talked about the importance of having a strong heart and strength and shared messages about the values of hard work, dedication, and perseverance to achieve goals.
Majok was 16 when he came to the United States. He attended Fowler High School and went on to obtain a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
He works for Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and shares his story to help others and encourages others to do the same.
“Don’t be afraid to share what you know,” he told the students. “It might help someone go another mile.”
The Village of Mexico captured the title of Oswego County’s best-tasting drinking water in an informal contest held June 13 at the Oswego Farmers’ Market.
Five municipal water districts took part in the 23rd annual contest.
Visitors were invited to taste samples of public drinking water and cast votes for their first and second choices.
Mexico was the winner with 55 points, followed by the Village of Pulaski with 51 points; Richland water district with 37 points; Oswego with 32 points; and Fulton with 26 points.
Mexico’s water will be entered in a regional competition and regional finalists from around the state will compete at the New York State Fair for the state’s best-tasting drinking water.
The village of Mexico won the title of best-tasting drinking water in New York State in 2002 and 1991.
Sixty-seven people voted in the Oswego County contest, which is sponsored by the Environmental Division of the Oswego County Health Department in conjunction with the New York chapter of the American Water Works Association.
The Great Bear Recreation Area near Fulton has been added to the series of self-guided walking tours along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway.
The Great Bear Walk, organized by the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Volkssport Association and Friends of Great Bear, is the first of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Walks to be entirely “off-road” as it follows well-marked woodland trails.
Volkssporting in German is “the sport of the people.” The Great Bear Walk joins a series of walks created by the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Volkssport Association along or near the 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway, which parallels Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River in New York and Pennsylvania.
The walks are family-oriented and targeted to those who enjoy outdoor physical activity in which people of all ages and fitness levels can participate.
The Great Bear Springs area is comprised of over 400 acres in the City of Fulton and Town of Volney.
The name is based on a Native American legend in which a young brave was attacked by a large bear near the springs. The property also contains the historic Oswego Canal guard lock number 2 and towpath that were a part of the original Oswego River Canal.
After completing the walk, participants have the option of purchasing a collectible pin depicting the bear for which the area is named.
“The area has more than eight miles of natural trails over rolling terrain, and is ideal for walking, cycling, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing,” said Richard Drosse, coordinator of the Friends of Great Bear. “The Great Bear Walk was developed with the option of either a 3.1 mile or 6.2 mile route, and is sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association.”
The walk is open to all, and there is no charge except for Volkssporters wishing to earn credit or for those interested in purchasing the pin.
In May, a group of 18 walkers from the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Volkssport Association and the Finger Lakes Volkssport Club met in Fulton to christen the Great Bear Walk.
“The Great Bear Walk makes an excellent addition to the series of Great Lakes Seaway Trail Walks, and we’re confident it will serve as an important means to attract visitors to the region,” Great Lakes Seaway Trail Volkssport Association President Daryl Giles said.
To get started, go to the Riverside Inn located at 930 S. First St. in Fulton and ask for the Great Bear Walk box at the front desk. Walkers can then sign in and pick up the walk directions.
Oswego County also hosts a sanctioned Volkssport walk near Fort Ontario.
The walk is head-quartered at the Quality Inn and Suites, 70 E. First St., Oswego, and commemorates the 1814 British Naval attack on Fort Ontario. The walk can be done in 5 and 10-kilometer routes.
Those seeking more information on the Great Bear and Oswego 1812 walks, and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Volkssport Association may visit www.seawaytrail.com/volkssport.