For a long time I posted the presentations that I used in Faith Formation classes. Then, for some unknown reason, I stopped posting them. Well of course for 2020 there weren’t any classes so I am off the hook for that year. What happened in 2019 is just a mystery!
I have started posting those presentations again beginning with the first two from the current class on the Catholic Letters in the Bible. They will be available on the Adult Faith Formation page of this website!
I noted earlier that our town was hit by a massive tornado on the night of March 25/26, 2021. In this insightful video, Trey Duffey has captured perfectly the spirit and resiliency of the town that we live in. We will make it through this difficult time and come out stronger!
Trey describes the town and video this way:
“…it’s a different kind of strong. It’s a friend kind of strong. A family strong. A ‘thicker than water’ kind of strong. It’s Newnan Strong.”
The Sunday after the tornado hit Newnan, I sat down and thought about the community that I’ve come to know and love over the past 9 years. This town is where I’ve found lifelong friends, made huge life decisions, worked my first job out of college, started a business, and met my wife.
I wanted something that represented more than the devastation and wreckage that so many people experienced a few weeks ago, so I started digging. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of different projects in Coweta County, and I think the culmination of them represent what our community really is….something much bigger than a storm.
My hope was to show the faces of individuals who represent what Newnan Strong means. Teachers, Non-profits, First-Responders, Administrators, Homeowners, the list could go on. Just know they are a small (and in many ways a huge) representation of the response that has gone on in Newnan the past few weeks.
Last Friday at around 12:30am an EF 4 tornado ripped through my hometown of Newnan, Georgia. Emergency responders, electric crews, charities and citizen volunteers have spent a week struggling to begin to clean up our town.
With over 1,500 homes significantly damaged or destroyed, we have an acute homeless problem. Newnan High School is damaged, perhaps beyond any hope of repair. Charities are working to keep up with the need for food, water, and other necessities.
A lot of work is being done to address the short term needs but those soon will transition to medium and longer term needs stretching into 2022 and 2023. We are in for a long recovery.
For a lot of people, the year 2020 was awful. We were hardly into it when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. For me personally, it started off really bad. On January 13th, my father passed away, which for me like so many other people was a time of sadness, hurt and pain. Shortly thereafter, I had an minor outpatient procedure but ended up in hospital with an internal bleed. Then came the pandemic – shelter in place, wear a mask, don’t touch anyone, shortages of things like toilet paper, rubbing alcohol and even beans!
To be honest, I struggled through the year. I didn’t see my daughter and her husband for more than 30 minutes during the year and my grandchildren for only 10 days. Playing the banjo lost its appeal – and there are no sad banjo songs! We saw social events cancelled, charitable fundraisers moved to virtual, and then volunteering during the early voting and day-of voting in the Georgia general election and Senate run-offs was an exercise in restraint as people from both political sides tried to goad us into a wrongful comment or reaction.
The 1st annual Tour of Coweta is on April 17, 2021 at 8:00am. This event benefits the Newnan Rotary Club which does wonderful work within our community including: delivering Meals on Wheels, recognizing our veterans, providing Newnan with the 4th of July fireworks, and many other service projects.
The century takes place on the beautiful country roads of Coweta County, Georgia. The event will start at 8am for all participants at the Historic Newnan Train Depot in downtown Newnan. From there, multiple routes will be available in 25, 45, 62, and 100 mile rides. The Tour of Coweta Century is fully supported. SAG stops and mechanical support will be provided and participants will be entertained to a post ride meal downtown and the Rock & Road Cycling Festival. Participants will be provided with SWAG bag, T-Shirt, and $10 Lunch Coupon for after the event celebrations. Day of Registration available for $55.
This article by Audra D.S. Burch, is on the front page of the NY Times today. It is not a completely fair representation of our community. While there were some nativist goofballs who raged against it, the portraits were widely accepted in our community. The article neglects to mention that the night before the bozo Neo-Nazi’s came to town our citizens (black, white, hispanic, asian, and more) all flooded downtown merchants and restaurants with shopping/dining to support them because they would be closed the next day. To be downtown that night was to see a celebration of the diversity, community spirit, and integrity that is a hallmark of my hometown of Newnan. That is just one example of the diverse citizens of Newnan coming together. I posted about this celebration of our community back then: #NotWelcomeHere and the resulting embarrassment of the Neo-Nazi fools #YouCantFixStupid.
A bit more focus in today’s article on the positive race relations in Newnan would have made this article a shining example of what a community can be when it actually honors and respects the dignity of ALL of its citizens. By the way, the people depicted in these portraits are what makes Newnan so wonderful that the population has more than tripled in the 35 years I have lived here. The acceptance of this diversity is what makes our community thrive.
On January 13, 2020 my dear father Paul Swope passed away at the age of 94. Dad was born on a central Kentucky tobacco farm in 1925. He lived through the great depression and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and later the U.S. Air Force during World War II and the Korean conflict. He married my mother, Helen in 1952 and was not only devoted to her but adored her every day of their marriage Continue reading “Goodbye to a Father”→