Darlington Together holds meeting

A crowd of about 50 people gathered at the meeting of the Darlington Together organization on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Darlington Together is a diverse group of Darlington citizens, business owners and community leaders, interested in examining and working on problems in Darlington through a spiritual and non-judgmental lens. The group met to discuss a wide variety of issues, including racism and the increase of crime in Darlington County. A lunch of various soups, light snacks and desserts was served to those in attendance. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

Linda Beckham, founder of Darlington Together and coordinator of the event, addresses the crowd. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

Chris Handley of the Helping Florence Flourish group made a video presentation and discussed how their organization formatted a plan in Florence which might be helpful to the Darlington group. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

Darlington Together, a group representing all races and ethnic groups in Darlington and committed to better understanding each other and working to make Darlington a nicer place to live, met Tuesday, March 28, for a lunch and learn session at St. Matthews fellowship hall, 210 S. Main St., Darlington.  Chris Handley from Florence talked about what he is doing through his organization, Helping Florence Flourish.  Chris’ message about what Helping Florence Flourish is doing through churches so inspired one attendee that he said, “I don’t go to church, but if churches are going to do what you are talking about, I think I’ll start going.”   

Darlington Together is a catalyst, a melting pot of projects and ideas.  A lot of good things are already going on in Darlington, but so often we work in our own little isolated silos.  Darlington Together works to band diverse groups together to bring different perspectives and skill sets to challenges from a spiritual perspective building on the organization churches already have.  Churches lift us up above the material world, but they should also help us deal with this world.  Jesus was a teacher and a servant. He taught us how to get in touch with our spiritual side, but also wanted us to address the world’s problems with love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness.  I once was told by a minister, “this is business”, and I thought, what use is the teaching of the church if it is thrown out when dealing with business?  The business of the church is to show us how to address worldly challenges but also to help us address those challenges.  If we are going to worship Jesus without following the ideals he espoused, that is in essence idolatry.  We are paying homage to the symbol and not what it stands for.  We can all agree, I think, that the values of the Christian religion, which are also the values of many of the world’s religions, are good values. I believe that in the long run working on our challenges using those values might not be the quickest way to solve problems, but it is the best and can have the most lasting consequences. That is the goal of Darlington Together.

Dr. Zenobia Edwards, of the Aspen Institute for Criminal Justice Reform will speak on Juvenile Justice at the next meeting of the group.  If you think you might like to participate in Darlington Together, please contact Linda Beckham at 843 615-8287.

Author: Stephan Drew

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