In the 19 years since I moved to Williamsport to become pastor of the Calvary Baptist congregation, I have told folks that this neighborhood (around Washington Blvd. and Packer Street) has the bleakest and most resistant spirit of any I have ever lived in and tried to pastor to. In our worship service we have prayed against that and for our mayor and all other city leaders every Sunday.
A few months ago, I began seeing many remarkable signs of an attitude change around us. One example: For the last 10 years, no neighborhood children came or were sent to our weekly youth programs; now they are showing up and inviting friends and have asked us to continue on through the summer. Other plans which were made in faith and at great cost to strengthen family life and child-development in this neighborhood are right on schedule to meet this new neighborhood spirit.
I am writing because I have seen what family and neighborhood problems result from closing a pool in a neighborhood like this. People, and especially at-risk kids, need to come first or we will never see the recent nihilism and all it has led to go into reverse.
Closing the Brandon Park pool looks and feels like a betrayal of this neighborhood and confirms the prevailing nihilism and cynicism. It would be a real setback and discouragement for all who live in this neighborhood and who are trying to bring health back to it.
Rev. Peter C. Wilson
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom