It is so pleasing to see announcements, in the same week, of two churches with positive outreach to our many local community members for gatherings to enrich their lives.

St. Francis Xavier Church Hall, in Winthrop is again having meals Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to noon. The Manchester Community Church community center on Route 17 is open Friday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. for socializing, light refreshments, card games and companionship.

I do not live in either town, and I assume these programs are directed perhaps to an older, less affluent and/or a less mobile population.

Personal contacts and phone conversations have decreased as our society becomes more oriented toward technology. Also, many extended families are spread far and wide in other states and countries and may not convene with great frequency.

I did read a negative comment about the reopening of St. Francis. One person suggested that some people there may well afford to pay for the meal. Who knows? Maybe they do donate generously, and attend for companionship, acquisition of new interests or to form new friendships.

I applaud all the many public gathering places and the individuals who donate their time, energy and resources to provide community members a gentler and kinder essence of hospitality.

With a concerted effort to remain neutral and nonjudgmental I encourage all of us to support a gathering place of one’s own comfort level.

Ann Taylor Versteeg


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