Guest Columnist

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

A local newspaper in a recent editorial introduces Northwest Iowa to its new regional center.

In proud chamber of commerce style it submits a list of pluses which are making Storm Lake the legitimate successor to a neighboring town 37 miles north which for years has claimed the title. We are unseating the champ.

The editorial suggests four categories in which we are the leaders: commerce, culture, recreation and education. Then it reminds its readers of specifics for which we should be proud. There is Buena Vista University with its exciting campus and national reputation as a leading educational institution; a public school system that is a model for in study. Other people-serving pluses include our Buena Vista Regional Medical Center reaching out to serve a wider territory with the latest "state-of-the-art" healing skills while many other hospitals are in trouble. The convincing list continues with Wal-Mart presently building a Super Wal-Mart here; our Asia and Latino newcomers demonstrating they are successful business people. Add to that the report there is more traffic coming into Storm Lake than ever before; all happening in one of Iowa's fastest growing towns, and the bottom line spells "Winner."

There is one missing plus in the picture painted by the editorial - one that ranks high in importance.

No mention is made of "religion," specifically "The Christian Religion." Has any thought been given to the fact our town is the New Regional Center for the Christian Faith in Northwest Iowa?

Who is in the morals business in "The City Beautiful?" The Supreme Court took our public schools system out of it. God, the Ten Commandments, and prayer are out. Children singing "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night" in school Christmas programs makes them violators of "The Separation of Church and State."

Who is left in the morals business which is so important right now in our nation's life? The answer in our town is 15 fine churches with dedicated pastors and hard working congregations. A Presbyterian Church related university with a pastor and chaplain conducting chapel services and available for counseling. Add to the list two denominational regional head- quarters located here, Evangelical Lutheran and Presbyterian, each bringing groups here for meetings and inspirational conferences.

The answer continues with two parochial school systems, Catholic and Missouri Synod Lutheran, teaching morals.

All are working together to keep the moral temperature high in our town and adjoining area. The area center for Christian Faith and action is right here in our town. Religion should be added to the newspaper lists of pluses which qualify Storm Lake for its responsibility of being the area's new leader.

We could use some cheerleaders for the community's accomplishment. A hearty "T-N-R-C" (The New Regional Center) would sound good led by them.

God Bless.