Letters to the editor (01/16/14)


National Sanctity of Life Day
In spite of the current laws regarding the sanctity of human life, there is still an all powerful initiative available to all God fearing people, that no mere human government can deny, that of reverent prayer to an “over ruling” God in heaven.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared that the third Sunday in January would be a day to recognize the sanctity of human life. The date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the day in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe vs. Wade declared abortion to be a constitutionally-protected right.
President Reagan saw abortion as the greatest injustice of his generation, writing: “Slavery, which treated Blacks as something less than human, to be bought and sold if convenient, cheapened human life and mocked our dedication to the freedom and equality of all men and women.”
Can we say that abortion, which treats the unborn as something less than human, to be destroyed if convenient, will be less corrosive to the values we hold dear?”
Since that day, every pro-life president has recognized National Sanctity of Life Sunday, while pro-choice presidents have quietly ignored the occasion.
Those of us who stand with the unborn have recognized the event every year, regardless of the prevailing political winds.
This year, National Sanctity of Life Sunday is Jan. 19. Please join Intercessors for America in a seven-day prayer and fasting initiative regarding the unborn.

Paul Mason

Sock drive was a success
The 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office spread some holiday cheer to people across Valencia County this year.
At this special time of the year, it is important for all of us to do our share of giving back to the community, especially to those less fortunate.
Employees from the Belen office of the District Attorney conducted their annual sock drive to support the Valencia County Domestic Violence Shelter. Donations included much more than socks.
Between Nov. 8 and Dec. 20, employees stuffed three large boxes full of clothing, toiletries and other items.
We worked with the Valencia County Community Response Team and Sexual Assault Response Team to get the items to the Valencia County Domestic Violence Shelter. The items were distributed to families throughout Valencia County and also helped to fortify the shelter’s supply of items for families that come to the shelter.

Lemuel Martinez
13th Judicial District Attorney

Donations help community
Once again, we want to thank all the residents of Belen and surrounding communities for filling our Salvation Army kettles during the Christmas season.
The money that we raised goes directly to the food pantry ministry, which enables us to feed the hungry in our community. Our hope is that we are able to reach the neediest.
Your generosity will help us to continue this much needed ministry. Giving back and helping is what we do.

Rev. Greg MacPherson
Pastor at First Assembly of God
Mary Lou Dallas
Food Pantry coordinator

The Big Day of Serving
On Saturday, Sept. 28, The Big Day of Serving, a national movement with the sole intent of repair, visited Rio Communities.
Deborah Schmitz, community director and the youth leader at Abundant Life Christian Center, organized the event beforehand and prepared the groups to work on four different sites in Rio Communities. Due to manpower and time restrictions, groups were able to completely transform only two sites.
This event brought together four churches; one from Texas, one from Albuquerque and two from Belen as well as the Founders Group of Rio Communities on one day to complete the tasks.
The sites included the entrance area and sign to Chamesa and the area around the new City Hall. The groups picked up trash, cleared weeds and pruned trees in order to repair the sites; they painted and touched up the sign for Chamesa and put in desert-friendly plants at city hall to keep the areas clean for the future, removing undesirable aspects in favor of pleasing ones.
Mayor Mark Gwinn took part in the day, stepping in to help clean trash and weeds with two of his grandsons, and Judge Heather Benavidez came by early in the morning to show her support and appreciation. Many of the founders came out and got their hands and their vehicles dirty.
On behalf of The Big Day of Serving, hosted by Grounded Youth Ministries and Abundant Life Christian Center, we would like to publicly thank the many people and groups that supported this day of community clean up in Rio Communities. The success of this day would not have been possible without you. All sponsors are recognized in alphabetical order:
Abundant Life Christian Center, AC Disposal, Advantage Waypoint, Baskin Robbins, Business Print Center, Chamesa Homeowners Board, Founders Group of Rio Communities, Group Missions, Lady Hawk Feed and Supply, Lowe’s Home Improvement in Los Lunas, Rio Communities Association, Rio Grande Estates Fire Department, Sandy’s Nursery, Smith’s Food and Drug in Los Lunas, Sysco Foods, Valencia County Fire Chief Steven Gonzales, U.S. Foods and Kemps, Acosta’s, Pepsi Co., and Jennie O’ Turkey.
We would also like to publicly thank Carl Hott of First Baptist Church of Belen for emceeing our event amongst his many other contributions.
In closing, we would like to acknowledge every person who came out and donated their time and energy to this event. Every person added their own flare and played their own irreplaceable role in the success of this day. We look forward to many other opportunities to serve our community together.

Jessica Burlingham
The Big Day of Serving