People Out Loud: Coming Together

October 2016 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

dixon2016We Are One. What a concept in this tumultuous year filled with bad news, hatred, worldwide conflicts, partisan politics and unified efforts with the sole purpose of winning arguments at someone else’s expense and exposing differences as a means of ridiculing. Who’s your friend? What could you possibly have in common?  How can we expect to get along when we aren’t even the same color of state?

But a community sponsored event, We Are One, is out to make changes for the better Oct. 22. The free youth event is a night of “music, fellowship and more.”  Participants are Young Life, First Baptist Church, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Silverton First Christian, Salem First Christian, Bethel Baptist, St. Mary’s Mt. Angel, St. Paul’s Silverton, Assembly of God, Immanuel Bible, Silver Creek Fellowship and the Virtue First Foundation of Mt. Angel.

Fellowship is the key. It is a non-denominational effort to bring young people together to listen to great music by featured artist Ben Walther, hear the inspirational words from Matt Novak, Youth Minister at Assembly of God in Silverton, and the word of God.

Pizza and water will be served. The event runs 6 – 8:30 p.m. at Silverton Middle School gymnasium.

Organizers are Nicole DeSantis-Litchy, Val Boen and Julie Bersin, and this first-ever event is expected to draw a large crowd. DeSantisLitchy said, “We really wanted  to get youth together to meet each other, find common ground and perhaps new friendships, and enjoy themselves with food, fun, inspirational speakers, and uplifting music. We think it is really important for the youth of our community to know they are not alone.”

We Are One.  Text “SILVERTON” to 41411 or call or email Boen, 503-817-1667,, for information.

Speaking of wonderful events designed to bring adults together, don’t forget Judy’s Party Oct. 22 at the First Christian Church in Silverton. The annual event honors Judy Schmidt, a true icon and tireless community volunteer, who passed away in 2014. Contact the Silverton Chamber of Commerce at 503-873-5615 for information about this wonderful event, which raises funds for the chamber activities and local charities. The event is 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

There are a lot of nice people in the world. And, there are the other kind. Then there are genuinely nice people. The genuinely nice people are interested in what we have to say, and they actually are interested in what your kids are up to, how your weekend was, and if business is good. It is in their smile, their body language, the depth of their questions as to your well-being, and their mad listening skills. In a time when a smile or a hug is needed, a genuinely nice person is a welcome antidote to a sometimes cold, unfeeling world. Kevin Griffin is a genuinely nice man. You may not know him or you may adore him. He’s a checker at Roth’s. Perhaps there is a better name than “checker,” but that’s not the point. The point is he is just plain nice and it is no act. When he asks if you found everything, he may looked crushed to hear that you couldn’t locate the lemon curd for your gingerbread. He will solve your dilemma by retrieving the lavender-scented kitty litter for you, or asking one of those nice high school kids to grab you a bag. Plus he is nice to them, too. He knows your family and when you are haggard and stressed. He is genuinely concerned about your well-being. He doesn’t get ruffled. He laughs. He knows sports. He knows when to apologize. He is, simply put, a genuinely nice person.  It is a good time to find, and recognize, nice people. Paraphrasing Renee Zellweger in one of my favorite movies of all time, Jerry McGuire, “Kevin, You had me at “”Paper or plastic?””

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