To the Editor:
I just wanted to take a moment to express my deep appreciation for the Block Island Grocery staff, management and owners.
Patricia Kriegel, Aliia Murray, Eduard Delyanov, Denis Nunu, Jason Blanco, Atakan Taskin, Denise Brown, Jessica McLear, Johno Sisto, Michael Desmarais, Karen Martin, Larry Fernandes, Michael Mellor, Charon Littlefield, Meriton Gurguri, Gabrielle Schettini, and Amelia Gallant.
While we are all safely tucked into our various abodes these folks go to work every day to keep our food supply up and running in a clean, supplied, and orderly environment. While, yes it is a job, there certainly is an element of community dedication.
Take a moment to check the signs at the door with directives, they are there for everyone’s safety. Call the BIG to place your deli orders ahead of time, no kids, one person per family and if you have traveled find a friend or neighbor who can pick up supplies for you.
To the Editor:
Asking this question right now is as important as getting an answer. But I’m not talking about getting estimates from government and health officials about how long the current pandemic will last. I believe in the old adage, “This too, shall pass…” I would rather ask this question of God, and I encourage you to do the same. Any crisis in our lives raises the timeless faith inquiries once more: “How could a good God let this happen?” and “How long will a loving God allow this to continue?” or “How can I trust in Divine Providence in the face of such adversity?” Any time tragedy or calamity strikes in any form it can produce a crisis of faith. What do we do with our doubts and questions at a time such as this?
Anger, grief, fear, uncertainty, anxiety. The irony is that these moods and emotions can block us off from one of our greatest spiritual resources: taking them all to God in prayer. Prayer need not be polite, well-turned phrases, or eloquent statements of belief. It can burst forth as raw, unbridled exclamations from the heart: “I’m angry!” “I don’t understand!” “My heart is breaking!” “I’m afraid!” and “How long, O Lord?” The Scriptures are full of such prayers. In the wilderness, in fear for his life, before he became king, David cried out, “O Lord, how long will you forget about me? Forever?” When the city of Jerusalem was under siege, the prophet Jeremiah declared, “You have taken peace from my life; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, "My strength is gone as is my hope in the Lord." At times such as these, honest laments can become a vital way of voicing our innermost thoughts and feelings. This in itself can become an expression of faith in the face of doubt — simply saying the words indicates that we have not entirely given up: “I believe! Help my unbelief!” [Mark 9:24]
In this unprecedented period, Harbor Church stands with our community to offer our support and to connect with you in whatever ways we can. We have expanded our online presence and ministry offerings. Virtual worship experiences are available on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. via a live stream from our Facebook page; Harbor Church — Block Island, R.I. Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. we have ‘Zoom Room’ group discussions and prayer. Devotional thoughts are posted on the YouTube channel “Pastor Peter Preiser.” For moments of inspiration, you can connect with us through Instagram @harborchurchbi. Families with preschoolers can enjoy music time with Miss Carrie on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. via a live stream from Island Free Library Facebook page. For more help go to our website www.harborchurchblockisland.org. If you would like to receive these and other resources, just send a request to be added to our group email list at firstname.lastname@example.org. Email me directly at email@example.com. Or simply call me on the phone if you would like to talk about your struggles at (401) 466-5940; I’m a good listener and will do all that I can to assist you in any way that I can. In your moments of need, remember this great promise: “Cast all your cares upon God, because God cares for you.” — 1 Peter 5:7.
Be safe, and may God bless you and keep you well.
‘Pulling us back together’
To the Editor:
March has been a distressing month for all of us as we learned we must pull apart from one another in order to protect our friends, neighbors, and ourselves. Now the distress deepens as we realize this separation must continue for many weeks.
But Rosemary Connelli has given us a series of bright spots in the midst of the gloom. Her articles about the women of Block Island in celebration of Women’s History Month served to pull us back together during a dark month. It was an inspired idea to begin with, and its effect is magnified by the challenge we currently face as a community.
I am saving these issues of The Block Island Times and to read again when my spirits need a lift.
Thank you, Rosemary! And thank you, Block Island Times!
Off Cooneymus Road
Mary D. Fund is here for you
To the Editor:
While Block Island has been blessed so far with no apparent COVID-19 cases, many on the island are suffering the effects of shelter-in-place orders. With unemployment skyrocketing, and with no end in sight, the already fragile economic picture of the Block Island community is in jeopardy. On a good day, there are many who are living week-to-week, unpaid bills piling up, needs unmet. On a bad day — and we fear there are going to be quite a few of those to come — many may face economic, social and health problems, with no safety net.
Who is there for the island? Who supports those in need, day in, day out, on Block Island?
The Mary D. Fund.
We implore seasonal residents, second-homeowners, retirees, people with resources, all of us, to think of the year-round islanders who make our island a place of joy and respite. We ask you to consider a gift to the fund that helps keep Block Islanders afloat in times of need. Now, if there ever was one, is the moment to show our support and gratitude to the locals who work so hard to give us so much. Please give generously to the Mary D. Fund, P.O. Box 323, Block Island, R.I. 02807.
Sue Hagedorn and Hope Reeves
A special place
To the Editor:
Dorrie and I want to express our gratitude to the island folks that just drove by our house as we complete our self-quarantine following foreign travel. Thanks so much.
What a truly wonderful gesture and effort during these difficult times.
Another example of what a special place Block Island really is.
Dorrie Napoleone and Jim Fiorato
Coast Guard Road