Last Monday a delegation of Church folk went to the Harwich Selectmen’s Meeting to address a petition by the restaurant owners at Cape Side Kitchen. It was our second time sending a delegation to the Selectmen Meeting in Harwich. The Cape Side Kitchens owners were petitioning to have a full liquor license for nine months of the year.
It used to be the law that you could not have a restaurant that served any alcohol within 500 feet of a church. But now the law says that the Selectmen or a similar group in every municipality has the authority to over rule that legal guidelines and to grant liquor licenses. In this case the restaurant is 25 feet from our building.
Whatever you believe about this issue, I need you to know that you were well-represented by a group of Trustees and 15 church leaders who took this issue seriously, weighed the needs of our neighbors, considered our role and vision as a people of faith. They showed up at one of the two meeting held to consider the matter. At the first meeting I asked some questions to try to understand what a seasonal license really is (April 15 - Jan. 15 ) and I rose to talk about the church’s programs and mission- from the Thrift Store to the After School, from our choirs to our services. I talked about our vision to be a gathering place for all people in the community and questioned whether that was a good fit for a new restaurant next door that wants to serve liquor and expand its hours to private evening parties, too.
I consider it my job to represent you in such forums. But I was so impressed by the stream of thoughtful comments that came this week, at the second meeting from church members who talked about what the church meant to them and to their families, and appealed to the Selectmen to deny the liquor license. In the end the Selectmen granted the license but restricted it to Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. -2 p.m.,Basically for lunches, and no license for Sundays. They denied the petition to develop an evening restaurant option for private parties where liquor is served.
So, many of the things we expressed and advocated for were acknowledged. But the experience, reminded me how much we need one another. My voice, alone, was not nearly as compelling as the chorus of your voices. We speak with different voices but with one passion for Pilgrim Church and what we are creating together. As I listened to various people stand up to the microphone I was really impressed by the sense of teamwork and when it was my turn I was proud to identify myself as your pastor.
There will be a training for Open Hands Ministry on March 27th from 1-3 p.m. in the Chapel
This is for you if you :
Signed up to be part of Friend to Friend Ministry
Signed up to drive someone to church
Signed up to help with Funeral or Memorial Service Receptions
Missed the original training
Attended the original training and are interested in the next steps
Mark your calendar and join us in the Chapel. Let me know if you cannot attend.
We have lots of envelopes in the hallway for the Lenten Offerings. Please take an envelope home and bring it back on Easter for the Easter Offering.