Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Thursday, March 31, 2005

20050300 United Methodist Church Resolution # 115 Care for Persons Suffering and Dying

United Methodist Church #115 Faithful Care for Persons Suffering and Dying

March 2005

Christians affirm that human beings are creatures of God. As such, we are not the authors of our own existence, but receive our lives as gifts from God, who has made us as embodied spirits, capable of transcendence but also vulnerable to illness, accident, and death. God has endowed human beings with capacities for freedom, knowledge, and love, so that we might freely enter into the communion with God and each other for which we were made. The Creator's gift of liberty has been abused and distorted by sin. In Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit we meet God as Savior, Redeemer, and present Advocate, who has acted in love to free us and all creation from captivity to the power of sin and death. To know God in these ways enables us to receive God's sovereignty over life and death not just as a limit or a neutral fact. It is a source of comfort and peace, as we wait for the final victory over death which is the hallmark of the finished work of redemption.

Therefore, Christians gather as forgiven sinners, redeemed by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to discern and to choose the path of faithfulness to God and one another, as a community seeking to know and to do the truth. It is within the framework of these affirmations, and within the context of these relationships, that we grapple with the questions of faithful care for the sick and the dying.

Through the examples and command of Jesus Christ, the church receives the task of ministering to the sick, relieving what suffering can be relieved and undertaking to share and to lighten that which cannot be eliminated. This mandate calls upon us to address all the needs of the sick. These needs include relief from pain and other distressing symptoms of severe illness, but they also embrace the need for comfort and encouragement and companionship. These needs are expressed particularly by the very ill and the dying who confront fear and grief and loneliness. They are in critical need for emotional and spiritual care and support. The duty to care for the sick also calls upon us to work to reform the structures and institutions by which health care is delivered when they fail to provide the comprehensive physical, social, emotional, and spiritual care needed by those facing grave illness and death.

Care for the dying is an aspect of our stewardship of the divine gift of life. As human interventions, medical technologies are only justified by the help that they can give. Their use requires responsible judgment about when life-sustaining treatments truly support the goals of life, and when they have reached their limits. There is no moral or religious obligation to use them when the burdens they impose outweigh the benefits they offer, or when the use of medical technology only extends the process of dying. Therefore, families should have the liberty to discontinue treatments when they cease to be of benefit to the dying person. However, the withholding or withdrawing of life sustaining interventions should not be confused with abandoning the dying or ceasing to provide care. Even when staving off death seems futile or unreasonably burdensome to continue, we must continue to offer comfort care -- effective pain relief, companionship and support for the patient in the hard and sacred work of preparing for death.

Historically, the Christian tradition has drawn a distinction between the cessation of treatment and the use of active measures by the patient or care-giver which aim to bring about death. If death is deliberately sought as the means to relieve suffering, that must be understood as direct and intentional taking of life, whether as suicide or homicide. This United Methodist tradition opposes the taking of life as an offense against God's sole dominion over life, and an abandonment of hope and humility before God. The absence of affordable, available comfort care can increase the pressure on families to consider unacceptable means to end the suffering of the dying.

Health Insurance in the United States

(While this section explores this topic in the United States context, we encourage further understanding and knowledge of practices and traditions around the globe.)

In the United States today, many millions of people have either no health insurance or grossly inadequate coverage which gives them no reliable access to medical treatment. Even for those who do have basic access, good quality comfort care, -- including effective pain relief, social and emotional support and spiritual counsel -- is often not available from a medical system geared toward cure and rehabilitation rather than care for the dying. Such circumstances leave people with a distorted choice between enduring unrelieved suffering and isolation, and choosing death. This choice undermines rather than enhancing our humanity. When cost control measures and for-profit health care institutions bring economic pressures directly to bear on treatment decisions such as the cessation of care, the United States system of health care financing and administration has distorted and corrupted the practice of medicine. We as a society must assure patients situations where their desire not to be a financial burden does not tempt them to choose death rather than receiving the care and support that could enable them to live out their remaining time in comfort and peace.

Pastoral Care

The church's unique role for persons facing suffering and death is to advocate for and provide care in all of its dimensions to the very sick in the form of pastoral care. Such pastoral care is the calling of the whole community of faith, not only pastors and chaplains. Because Christian faith is relevant to every aspect of life, no one can cope successfully with life's pain and suffering and ultimate death without the help of God through other people. In Pastoral care God's help and presence are revealed. Persons offering and receiving pastoral care include the patient, the community of faith, family, friends, neighbors, other patients, and health-care teams.

Those offering pastoral care empathize with suffering patients and share in the wounds of their lives. They listen as patients express their feelings of guilt, fear, doubt, loneliness, hurt, and anger. They can provide resources for reconciliation and wholeness and assist persons in reactivating broken or idle relationships with God and with others. They can provide comfort by pointing to sources of strength, hope, and wholeness, especially reading Scriptures and prayer.

This same pastoral care must be provided to the family and friends of those who are suffering and dying. They too, must have an opportunity to share their feelings of guilt, hurt, anger, fear, and grief. Grieving persons need to be reminded that their feelings are normal human responses that need not cause embarrassment or guilt. Families have long-established patterns of relationships and attention to the entire family unit must be incorporated into pastoral care. Religious, cultural, and personal differences among family and friends must be considered with special sensitivity.

Health care workers also need pastoral care. Doctors and, especially, support staff have intimate contact with dying persons in ways experienced by few others. They live in the tension of giving compassionate care to patients while maintaining professional detachment. Pastoral care for health-care workers means helping them take loving care of themselves as well as their patients.

Pastors and chaplains are called especially to sustain the spiritual growth of patients, families, and health-care personnel. They bear witness to God's grace with words of comfort and salvation. They provide nurture by reading the Scriptures with patients and loved ones; by Holy Communion; by the laying on of hands; and by prayers of repentance, reconciliation, and intercession. They provide comfort and grace with rituals of prayer or anointing with oil after miscarriage, or after a death in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice. They develop rituals in connection with a diagnosis of terminal illness, of welcome to a hospice or nursing home, or of return to a local congregation by persons who have been absent for treatment or who have been in the care of a loved one.

In all these ways, pastoral-care givers and the community of faith are open to God's presence in the midst of pain and suffering, in order to engender hope, and to enable the people of God to live and die in faith and in holiness. They assist persons in coming to peace with themselves and others as they accept the realization that death is not always an enemy. They affirm that there is only one possible ending to the Christian story. Regardless of the tragedies and triumphs, the youthfulness or the age, the valleys of doubt and despair, the suffering and loss, and the soaring as things turn out all right -- we come to the only one certain end: "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, though they die, will live, and every one who lives and believes in me shall never die" (John 11:25-26) (NRSV).

In addition to offering comfort and hope, pastoral-care givers are trained to help patients understand their illness and can assist families in understanding and coming to grips with information provided by medical personnel. Pastoral-care givers are especially needed when illness is terminal and neither patients nor family members are able to discuss this reality freely.

The complexity of treatment options and requests by physicians for patient and family involvement in life-prolonging decisions require good communication. Pastoral-care givers can bring insights rooted in Christian convictions and Christian hope into the decision-making process. If advance directives for treatment, often called "living wills," or "durable powers of attorney" are contemplated or are being interpreted, the pastoral-care givers can offer support and guidance to those involved in decision-making. They can facilitate discussion of treatment options, including home and hospice care.

Decisions concerning faithful care for the suffering and the dying are always made in a social context that includes laws, policies, and practices of legislative bodies, public agencies and institutions, and the social consensus that supports them. The social context of dying affects individual decisions concerning treatment and care and even the acceptance of death. Therefore, pastoral-care givers must be attentive to the social situations and policies that affect the care of the suffering and dying and must interpret these to patients and family members in the context of Christian affirmations of faithful care.

United Methodist Response

To insure faithful care for the suffering and dying it is recommended that United Methodists:

1. Acknowledge dying as part of human existence, without romanticizing it. In dying, as in living, mercy and justice must shape our corporate response to human need and vulnerability.

2. Accept relief of suffering as a goal for care of dying persons rather than focusing primarily on prolonging life. Pain control and comfort-giving measures are essentials in our care of those who are suffering.

3. Educate and equip Christians to consider treatments for the suffering and the dying in the context of Christian affirmations of God's providence and hope. This should be done especially through preaching and adult Christian education programs addressing these issues.

4. Train pastors and pastoral care-givers in the issues of bio-ethics as well as in the techniques of compassionate companionship with those who are suffering and dying.

5. Acknowledge, in our Christian witness and pastoral care, the diverse social, economic, political, cultural, religious and ethnic contexts around the world where United Methodists care for the dying.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

20050316 Bring Back the Westminster Christmas Parade

Westminster Advocate

Bring Back the Westminster Christmas Parade

The Westminster Christmas Parade

March 16th, 2005 by Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff (528 words)

As I am certain you are aware, it is only 284 days until Christmas. But even more importantly, there are only 262 days until the Westminster Christmas Parade on December 3rd, 2005. Please mark this date on your calendar now, so you do not miss all the fun with your friends and neighbors.

In keeping with the theme; “Westminster An Excellent Experience”, The Greater Westminster Development Corporation (GWDC), along with the City of Westminster and the Main Street Program are reviving an old Westminster Christmas tradition; the Christmas Parade.

Community leaders such as former Councilmember Sam Greenholtz, now Chair of the GWDC Board of Directors; Kathy O’Dell, Chair of the GWDC Downtown Main Street Promotions Committee; Lori Graham, President of the GWDC; Missie Wilcox; Sandy Scott; Lynn Aaron and Ron Schroers have rolled up their sleeves to plan this excellent experience.

Over fifty years ago, Christmas tradition in Westminster included a parade and shopping downtown with the family. In those days, the downtown-shopping district included East Green Street, West and East Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Some of the many shops and businesses on Pennsylvania Avenue included, Earhart Motors, O’Farrell Brothers Pontiac, The Avenue Barber Shop, Westminster TV and Radio Shop, Carroll Electric Service, Dutty’s Beauty Salon, Everhart’s Barber Shop, Wine’s Sports Shop, and Wilson’s Garage to name just a few. Moreover, who can forget the huge toy department in Hollander’s Auto Store, Bobby’s Hobby Lobby, Rosenstock’s Ladies’ Shop, Gehr’s Hardware Store, The Treat Shop, and the Bixler and Guild Drug Store on Main Street.

The early parades marched west along Main Street to the “Forks” at Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue where Santa Claus had his “temporary residence”. The jolly old fellow recently moved to Locust Lane, along with the Westminster Community Christmas Tree. The Democratic Advocate on December 26, 1947 describes the parade with the “city’s two bands”, the American Legion, and the 29th Division Association. Christmas carols, led by Kale Mathias, were sung by the community.

This year’s parade will be reminiscent of those former parades. Participants will include bands, antique cars, fire trucks and floats. Businesses are encouraged to provide a float depicting their business and the holiday spirit. The merchants from the TownMall, Westminster Crossing and other areas are invited to participate and call attention to the many fine products that they too offer. Store windows will be decorated and musical groups will be strolling the streets to entertain both young and old.

While much of the program revolves around the downtown merchants, you should know that the GWDC represents all of the greater Westminster environs and this event is one of many excellent experiences promoting shopping in all of the Westminster area.

The GWDC was created in 1994 as a private public partnership of business and city leaders to work together cooperatively to maintain and further a positive business environment in Westminster. Planning for the parade has already begun in earnest and sponsors, at various levels are welcome to help finance the project. More information can be obtained from Sam Greenholtz or calling the Westminster Main Street Program Manger, Stan Ruchlewicz at (410) 848-5294. And keep your hot chocolate at the ready.

GWDC Greater Westminster Dev. Corp., Christmas Westminster, Pennsylvania Avenue in Westminster, History Westminster

Sunday, March 13, 2005

20050312 Reaching Beyond Our Walls

Reaching Beyond Our Walls

March 12th, 2005 by Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff

Much has been discussed about the sharp differences we currently find in our county, state and nation. I believe that the answer to any challenge we face as a community is in being able to reach beyond our walls and bring a higher more positive spiritual energy to whatever it is we confront.

We were all voted into office to lead by example. We are given a profound trust by the voters to make a difference and contribution. We all face tremendous challenges and we can begin facing up too these challenges by working together.

I understand that as a community leader, I am exposed to points of view, value systems, allegiances, and individual beliefs, which may or may not agree with my own perspectives.

It is important that I conduct myself in an environment of mutual respect and tolerance of others and their viewpoints.

In one of my opportunities to talk with some young school-aged children about being the mayor and a community leader, one of the children asked if politicians do anything else besides “call each other names and be mean to each other”. Now I ask you, just what is it that we are teaching our children?

I’m not sure what we can do about the acrimony and incivility in Annapolis, but I think that all behavior modification in our great state starts at the grass roots level. It starts with how we treat each other right here in our own communities.

Unfortunately, physical and psychological violence is on the rise in our society; where it is frequently portrayed and emphasized by the media as an acceptable way for people to deal with problems. How often do we see featured in the media, the one person in the community meeting that attempted to promote their agenda by being impolite, loud, bizarre and disagreeable.

Although contextually trite, and compositionally gravely wounded by a preachy and overly simplistic plot, the 1939 Frank Capra – Capra-corn Classic, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" is one of America's best-remembered political films of the 1930s, if not for all time. I have never liked this gooey movie.

Inspired by the contemporary media and schlock like this out of Hollywood, today's Americans are more cynical than ever about government and politics. If you will recall, in “Mr. Smith”, Jefferson Smith saves the day in the climax of the movie by acting like a crazed lunatic.

Such unfortunate motivators as "Mr. Smith" has encouraged subsequent generations that they can make a difference and promote their agenda by being rude, loud, impolite, bizarre and disagreeable.

Participatory grass roots democracy, open and transparent dialogue is not for the weak of heart. However, if we have learned anything from history, hopefully we have learned that name-calling, pointing fingers, rumor mongering and being impolite, loud, bizarre and disagreeable is not the best way of solving problems.

It is extremely important that we explore alternative ways of peace, positive conflict resolution and nonviolence. It is not necessarily the challenge that counts nearly as much as the thoughtful and well considered response to the challenge.

Dr. King set an example for all of us that is just as valid today as it was many years ago. He showed us that leadership is often promoting change by leading the community to a place that it may not understand it needs to go; in an era when petty politics is all about figuring out whom to co-opt, malign and blame.

A leader like King used his power to forge a solution that involved mutual respect, love and understanding.

We can all work together to reduce the incidences of physical and psychological violence in our community by using non-violent conflict resolution skills and leading by example by demonstrating behavior that express feelings without harming, learning to accept the feelings of others, finding compromise, and building consensus.

If we are looking for answers to address the incivility in our state, one place to start is by looking at our own behavior. Consider the example you set for your child, your friends, neighbors and fellow citizens.

I think that the answer lies in the ability to listen with respect to those with whom we deeply disagree, in an attempt to catch in their remarks some truth we may have missed, in order to find a meaningful compromise.

I worry that there is not much that we can do about our state and national leaders not being civil, but our families and community cannot prosper if society fails and we do not rediscover some sense of civility and practice daily acts of kindness to one another. We can do it now, by starting right here at home.

I believe that the answer to any challenge we face as a community is in being able to reach beyond our walls and bring a higher more positive spiritual energy to whatever it is we confront. When we do, slowly, inch-by-inch, we will become a better society, a better people, and a better world. By working together we can all do better.

And I think that is happening. I work for you. Let the progress continue.

As always, your thoughtful consideration is appreciated regardless of the outcome on any particular issue. Whether we agree or disagree, always find my door open for friendly civil and constructive dialogue.

Kevin Dayhoff, Mayor of Westminster
Home Office: P. O. Box 1245
Westminster, MD 21158

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

20050309 Heading WEST to help those in need we

Heading WEST to help those in need

03/09/05 Alex Gayhart

In 1983, long before he became mayor of Westminster and just after purchasing a farm and establishing his own business, Kevin Dayhoff was rear-ended in his vehicle by a drunken driver.

The incident left Dayhoff unable to work and, therefore, unable to pay the bills. He says today that he was fortunate enough to be able to borrow the money he needed to maintain self-sufficiency.

But the experience left him with a life-long concern that others may not be so lucky.

More than 20 years later, Dayhoff was recently approached by someone with a somewhat similar situation , a local senior citizen who found herself without a basic need and with no way to fix it.

The water pipe leading into her home had failed and she had gone without water for two months. Otherwise self-sufficient, this senior just had no money and no recourse to take care of the problem.

"After I discovered her plight, I saw to it that water was reestablished at the house, because I deemed the situation a basic health, safety and welfare issue," Dayhoff said.

It was not through the city of Westminster or through the mayor's position that this woman found help. It was also not through any local nonprofit or through any government welfare program that she was able to take care of a problem that threatened her well-being.

There was actually no recourse for her.

This was not the first time Dayhoff, his wife or a somewhat large network of people in the community have been faced with a situation in which someone had an emergency need.

Dayhoff says he and this group of people have, over the years, provided a bag of groceries, found a working hot water heater to donate or gave some firewood to warm the house of a person in an emergency situation.

"For many years there's been an informal group of us (to help)," Dayhoff said. It's these instances that have inspired Dayhoff and a group of others to create the Westminster Emergency Safety Trust.

"All too often, in community leadership, we see folks who are unable to qualify for well-deserved assistance," Dayhoff said. "It is when unexpected costs arise that this self-sufficiency becomes endangered."

Dayhoff and the community focus group involved in establishing this trust have been working to raise funds so that emergency needs can be met when no other service can be provided.

“This fund is intended to be a 'when all else fails' (alternative)," said Dayhoff.

"The WEST Fund is a fund that's ... a stop gap measure for those folks who fall between the cracks," said Charles Harrison, president of the county chapter of the NAACP and a member of WEST's focus group.

"There is the Carroll Community Foundation, there's public health, but oft times, people's situations don't meet the criteria for any of those types of funds," he said.

WEST is set up through the Community Foundation of Carroll County - an organization that receives, invests and distributes funds for charitable, cultural and educational purposes for the benefit of Carroll citizens.

Dayhoff said he and the Community Focus Group - though many of them have helped by picking their own pockets - are looking for a way to have a formal pool of funds to help.

“We want to put something in place that's sustaining," he said.

Harrison was reminiscent of the "old days" when there might not have been much in the way of government assistance, and so the community rallied around those in emergency situations.

"The community solved problems," Harrison said. "So that's what this fund does." He added that he'd like to see this fund expand throughout Carroll County.

Those who would like to donate to the WEST fund may do so by sending a check payable to the Westminster Emergency Safety Trust to: Executive Director Audrey Cimino, Westminster Emergency Safety Trust, Carroll Community Foundation, P.O. Box 170, Westminster, MD 21158.

For more information, call Cimino at 410-876-5505.

E-mail Alex Gayhart at


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

20050302 Bob Jones and CC Ag Center History

Bob Jones and CC Ag Center History

Westminster Advocate

March 2nd, 2005 by Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff (528 words)

Carroll County is always changing and change can be challenging. Fortunately, we have a whole new generation of folks who are willing to build on the positive work of leaders who have gone before us and are willing to stay positive, roll up their sleeves and say let’s do it. To paraphrase President Truman, "[Community leadership] is like riding a [bull]. [You have] to keep riding or be [trampled]."

Recently, I had the honor of attending The Carroll County Agriculture Center Annual Dinner Meeting. At that meeting Bob Jones was given the “Pioneer Award” for his past contributions to the Agriculture Center and to the business of agriculture in Carroll County. The list of the past recipients of the Pioneer Award Pioneers include: Violet Coshun, 1993; Lester Stem, 1994; Charles Brehm, 1995, Stewart Young, 1996; Kathryn Frock, 1997; Edwin Rash, 1998; Herbert Wessel; George White, 2000; John Bixler and John Maus, 2001; Michael Preston, 2002; Joe Cooney and Bob Nelson, 2003; Zadie Brehm, 2004.

Bob Jones began working with the Extension Service in 1957. He retired in 1984, but has maintained his love for the Ag Center ever since, most recently helping with fund raising for the Danele Shipley Memorial Arena.

To better understand the contributions of Bob Jones to agriculture in Carroll County, it is important to know the history of the Ag Center. David Greene, Walter Bay, Bonnie Graham, Helen Hosfeld and Bob Jones all helped me put together this important history. The names (of the bull riders) in this brief history read like a who’s who in the history of Carroll County leadership, especially when it comes to having a passion and vision for the community and overcoming huge obstacles.

The Carroll County Agriculture Center was incorporated on March 20, 1954. In April 1954, 13 ½ acres was conveyed to the Ag Center for $100 per acre. On May 17, 1954, Lester Stem reported that the Building Committee recommended two pole type cattle sheds and a 80’ x 30’ main hall (Burn’s Hall) be built. Could they have ever imagined the Shipley Arena, with indoor bull riding or over 1,000 animal exhibits at the 4-H and FFA Fair?

Landon Burns called a group of interested citizens to meet with him at the County Agent’s office. He explained the organization of the Ag Center and its need for funds. He then took $100.00 out of his pocket, placed it on the table, and asked everyone in attendance to match it. He got 100% response from leaders such as: Earl Beard, Joseph Coshun, Edward Derr, Margaret Englar, David Hoff, Walter Hook, Joseph Horn, G. Bucher John, J. Henry Koller, R. H. Richardson, Wilbur Shreeve, Herbert Snyder, Randall Spoerlein, A. W. Steiner, Lester Stem, Henry Turner, Carroll Wilhide, and Grove Zimmerman.

Today the Agriculture Center and the new Shipley Arena is a hub of activity with everything from bull riding, dog shows, a home show, therapeutic riding, a tractor pull and of course the 4-H and FFA Fair. Come on out, bring the family and join the fun. Riding a bull is optional but all help is appreciated. Check out their web site at for coming events.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

20050301 Information about the Carroll County Maryland Ag Center

Carroll County (Maryland) Agriculture Center


For articles on “Soundtrack” about the Carroll Co. Ag Center

General Manager at 410-848-6704

WELCOME to the Carroll County Agriculture Center; the site of the new state-of-the-art Danele Shipley Memorial Arena, as well as numerous meeting facilities, function and banquet rooms, outdoor facilities, and much more!

Located in central Carroll County – the Region's finest agriculture country – the Agriculture Center and Shipley Arena are perfectly situated to meet our diverse needs and those of our neighbors in Baltimore, Washington D.C., southern Pennsylvania and western Delaware. Our facilities are designed to host a wide variety of events from livestock and equestrian outings to live music shows and entertainment events to trade shows and exhibits, and fairs and circuses.

The Carroll County Agriculture Center is the permanent home of the nationally-known and highly-regarded Carroll County 4H & FFA Fair. The Agriculture Center and Shipley Arena are available to all for exciting events, meetings and outings YEAR-ROUND!

Visit us soon – we look forward to hosting you or your next event in comfort and style in any one of our facilities.

To book any of our facilities – or inquire about rates, specifications, etc., contact Larry Collins, General Manager at 410-848-6704 or larry AT carrollcountyagcenter DOT com