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December 24, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 24, 1998

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VIEWPOINTS Editorial Christmas a gift that can't be exchanged The Bishop's Christmas Message - 199& by the Most. Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli, Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Throughout the Advent Season we have prepared for the coming of the Messiah, the Christ, and shared the experience of waiting which characterizes the faith of both the Old Testament prophets and the first Christians who are represented in the Scriptures of the New Testament. Now, the church in her liturgy tells us the waiting is over - Christmas is here. The waiting for the Chosen People in the Old Testament was lengthy. It was also somewhat uncertain in that those who waited were not always so clear as to whom they were to expect or what his role was to be. But we, the People of God, know exactly who the Messiah is and that His role is to be The Way, The Truth and The Life for us who celebrate His birth! Of course, Christmas has been here for 2,000 years, ever since the first Christmas became a fact in our history. Now we are fast approaching the beginning of a new millennium. Our time is marked from the birth of the Little Child of Bethlehem. That's the reason for this celebration. Shortly, the hubbub which signaled the commercial preparation for the holiday will be over once again. Tiredness, clean-up, diet- ing, girl exchanges and sales will follow. But our celebrations must continue - this great gift from our loving God cannot be exchanged. It's a forever gift! As we take pleasure in giving and receiving gifts with one anoth- er, let us continually thank God for the gift of Jesus and let us give to our world the gifts of Christian love and concern in our daily lives. In this way, we make the Lord more dynamically present in human experience and make His dwelling among us. Then we may truly announce peace and bear good news and "all the ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God." Letters Plan to attend Jan. 7 school hearing Cape Henlopen School District will hold the third of three public meetings regarding construction Of two new middle schools on Thursday, Jan. 7, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Milton Middle School. The total plan will involve expenditure of more than $20 million and will bring considerable Change to the district. This is the most ambitious building program ever considered by Cape Henlopen School District and deserves the public's oversight. The Jan. 7 meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to hear about the plans and offer any insight or comments. Cape Henlopen School District will eventually ask residents to approve a tax increase ref- erendum on this issue. The Jan. 7 hearing offers an opportunity to begin developing a clearer understanding of what is being pro- posed. The Weather Picture Dennis Forney photo The unseasonable warmth we've all enjoyed has come to an end and snow's on the way. Above, the steeple of Indian Mission Church on Route 5 gleams in the winter sun. DelDOT: When is enough, enough? DelDOT has appointed a committee to look into the congestion along Route 1. Even if an alternate route into Rehoboth were created, Route 1 seems like a lost cause to me. No one was willing to say "enough is enough," and consequently the main arterial route into Rehoboth has become one big strip mall, much to the chagrin of many people. If we are to save open spaces, endangered species and other crea- tures for this and future generations, it will take more than zoning regula- tions and transportation plans. They can too easily be manipulated or changed. It will take a mass transformation of consciousness for the preservation of nature, wildlife and plant life to become etched in the hearts of Americans. It will take nothing less than a national passion for us to pre- serve the wilderness, the silence, the forests, the coastal regions, the wet- lands and the beaches. In other words, we have to care about these things. Children in schools need to learn about endangered species. Families need to teach children that butterflies are important. That seagulls are important. That all life forms are not only important but sacred, intercon- nected elements in a fragile web of life. The major spiritual traditions of the world address our right relationship to the earth and her creatures. The Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions recently released the results of a three-year study of 10 major world religions and their positions on environmental issues. The results indicate that all major world religions taught that we should respect the earth and every form of life on it. For example: Christianity: "An ecological refor- mation is now on the agenda of Christian theology and ethics... Its need arises from the fundamental fail- ure of Christian and other religious traditions to recognize the intricate and interdependent relationships involving humankind with the rest of nature...and to respond with benevo- lence and justice to the theological and biological fact of human kinship with all other creatures." Native American: Indigenous peo- ple hold as sacred animal life, human life and Mother Earth. Some native people see all life forms as an inter- connected circle of life. If one life form is destroyed, it leaves a space in the circle, and the loss impacts all other life forms - even if the connect- ing thread is invisible to the human eye. Buddhism: "May all beings be free from enmity; may all beings be free from suffering; may all beings be happy." Hinduism: Hinduism suggests that the earth can be seen as a manifesta- tion of the goddess (Devi), and that she must be treated with respect. Jainism presents a world view that stresses the interrelatedness of life forms. Often in our culture, cruelty to ani- mals is trivialized. A couple of poignant examples come to my mind. Last summer, a youth in Rehoboth lured a seagull with a french fry and then pummeled him to death with a football. In Dewey Beach, a man lured a seagull with food and then bit its head off. Many people even make light of such incidents. That is because we have gotten far, far away from the view of nature and animals, wild and domestic, suggest- ed by the major spiritual traditions. These traditions can serve as guides or markers in helping us redefine our relationship to each other, to animals and to earth. Until we willingly and compassion- ately embrace our role as stewards and protectors of nature and animals, Continued on page 7 Write Now Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for ver- ification. Please keep letters to 750 words or less. Write to Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958 or fax to 645-1664. Volume 6 No. 31 Publisher Dennis Forney Editor Trish Vernon newsroorn Associate Editor Kerry Kester News Editor Michael Short msh0rt News Jim Cresson Rosanne Pack rpack Jen Ellingsworth Janet Andrelczyk Photographer Angle Moon amoon Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Director Carol Mawyer Fehrenbach carolf @ Advertising Cindy Forestieri cindyf Sharon Hudson Nancy Stenger Joseph njoseph @ Classified Sandy Barr Office Manager Kathy Emery Circulation Harry Stoner Production Coordinator Deidre Sudimak Production Staff Susan Porter Chris Wildt Contributors: Tim Bamforth Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Geoff Vernon E-mail for news, letters: newsroom @ capegazette.corn E-mail for advertising: production @ E-mail to subscribe: The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is published by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at the Midway Shopping Center, Highway One, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971. Second class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gaz- ette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: 302-645-7700. FAX: 645-1664. Subscriptions are available at $25 per year in Sussex County; $40 elsewhere. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "1 will honor Christmas m my heart, and try to keep it all the year." Charles Dickens