North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


January 17, 2013

Our Views: In times of tragedy, words of comfort: "Peace, be still"

AN NJN EDITORIAL — Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett has not been in charge of the United Methodist Church’s North Alabama Conference for very long. But she has already been presented with the daunting task of comforting the flock of a church hit with two crises in a matter of weeks — charges that a worship leader traveled to have improper relations with a child, and then a horrific shooting Thursday that left the senior pastor’s wife dead, his daughter wounded and the pastor himself charged with both crimes.

It was, therefore, an appropriate choice that Wallace-Padgett took her words for Sunday morning’s services at Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church from the fourth chapter of the gospel of Mark. The passage tells of how Jesus was crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat, when a storm tossed the boat wildly. Jesus spoke to the storm, “Peace, be still,” and the waves subsided.

The bishop reminded parishioners that no matter what storms they are going through, Jesus is in the boat with them.

And for that matter, so is the rest of our community. Many of us who have no direct connection with Gardendale-Mt. Vernon are still feeling the effects of Thursday’s events, the sort of tragedy we are thankfully unaccustomed to in our area. But it’s our neighbors who are hurting, and we need to be there for them.

We may never know what led to the acts that took place in that church parsonage. The Greer family had not been in Gardendale long — such is the life of a Methodist minister, where regular reassignments are a tradition. They had yet to fully plant roots here.

But the thought of a clergyman, whose job it is to preach God’s Word, breaking that Word in such a ghastly way is beyond the comprehension of most people. It is a stark reminder that, despite their higher calling, ministers are still people and sometimes subject to the same human frailties as the rest of us.

We pray for healing for the congregation of Gardendale-Mt. Vernon, and our community as a whole. Sadly, this tragedy is still unfolding, and we will all endure its effects for weeks and months to come.

Text Only
  • Danielle Cater: People make job worth doing

    When I started working for the newspaper 10 years ago, no one asked me why I did it. It was a good career move and I wanted to be a professional; I wanted to move up in the world.
    But as time went on and people started offering me other jobs, I stayed true to my position as office manager of the North Jefferson News. It’s become a part of my being. Just about anyone who knows me, knows that I work for the newspaper. They usually don’t have a clue as to what I actually do here, but they know that if they need me, I can be reached at the newspaper office.

    August 19, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Funeral reflects one man’s life

    We will all be lying in the front of a church or funeral home one day and I don’t want everyone wondering where my soul is. I don’t want them weeping for my loss. I want them having a Holy Ghost party and preaching the gospel to my family and friends.

    August 11, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: New school year hard on moms

    Did any other parents spend the entire last week of summer trying to fit in a whole summer’s worth of activities?

    August 11, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: New school year hard on mom

    Did any other parents spend the entire last week of summer trying to fit in a whole summer’s worth of activities? There were so many things that we wanted to do with our daughters before school started back and they all seemed to get put off until the very last minute.

    August 6, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: People, not things, make life exciting

    Another year of life has come and gone and as I wave goodbye to the 33rd year of my life, I warmly embrace the start of my 34th year of existence.
    I’ve often said that one shouldn’t be ashamed of their age; getting older sure beats the alternative.

    August 4, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: What kind of banana are you?

    They say what goes in is what comes out. I’ve heard it said, “Garbage in, garbage out.” There’s a lot of truth to that statement right there.

    July 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Bass fishing is just in my blood

    I was born the daughter of a fisherman. My dad was the pastor of a local church and the manager at various Jefferson County Waste Water Treatment plants, but anyone who knows him, knows he is a fisherman at heart.

    July 21, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Making memories not that hard

    Do you spoil your kids? Do you spend enough on them? What really matters when it comes to the well-being of your children? These questions are real doozies and I think the answers vary according to the family.

    July 9, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Graduation leads to hard decisions

    The caps and gowns are ordered, the invitations have been mailed. Checks are being written all across the country, it must be graduation time.

    May 29, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Longevity in marriage still possible

    I have officially seen it with my own eyes. I have witnessed it with my own life. Yes, I have seen a couple who has been married 60 years and still love each other. Even more than that, they still respect each other and still genuinely love to be around each other.

    May 27, 2014