Pastors will offer unique community voices

Published 7:30 pm Saturday, August 19, 2017

Like many small towns across America, Winchester has two vital community institutions that are seemingly represented on every corner: banks and churches.

The former is to help people keep their affairs in order in this life while the latter is to ensure everything is in order for the one after.

Financial institutions, of which I think there are at least 14 here in Winchester, are well represented in the newspaper. Many are strong supporters of The Sun and wisely use advertising to get their message out to consumers.

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Churches, on the other hand, are not always as well represented on the printed page here, or in many other publications for that matter.

Maybe that is because newspaper companies are afraid of alienating readers or being perceived as elevating one denomination over another. Maybe it simply comes down to an individual newspaper’s mission.

At The Sun, we believe it is important to provide a platform for all viewpoints and, hopefully in the process, spark important conversations that may have otherwise been left unsaid.

It is with this in mind that we will be incorporating additional pastoral columns each week to the newspaper, on a rotating basis, starting in September.

We want to be inclusive and provide this opportunity to any church, denomination or pastor who has something to share with the community.

We encourage those who participate to be positive, avoid promoting their own church or attacking others. This will be a place to share messages of faith and real-life applications.

I shared our plans with Pastor Don Stanley — from Salem Church at Pinegrove, the “small country church with a big heart for Jesus, as Don says — via an email conversation recently, offering him the chance to participate.

Not only did he jump at the chance, he ran with the request to get others on board. Pastor Stanley took it to the church association and has 12 pastors signed up to participate.

But we want more. We haven’t even beat the number of banks yet!

This is only a fragment of the faith institutions here in our community, and I believe that each and every one has a unique message to share.

Again, the goal isn’t to force any particular belief, or even religion as a whole, on anyone. We simply want to offer diverse viewpoints on a topic that we do feel is important to our community and our readers.

If faith-based opinion isn’t the type of thing you want to read in the paper, that is perfectly fine. Simply skip it.

Faith leaders in our community are uniquely positioned because they have their fingers on the pulses of their congregations, have a unique understanding of the challenges facing our community and can share their approaches as to how to address them. Allowing pastors to share some of their perspectives and life views will be interesting and often eye-opening, regardless of your religious affiliation.

Just like we need choices for banks, faith institutions and their pastors each offer unique windows into life here in Clark County.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. He can be reached at 759-0095 or by email at