Author Archives: grelanmuse

Acid attack on Catholic priest part of ‘a series of assaults on churches and church leaders’ in Zanzibar

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Father Anselm Mwang'amba displays his terrible injuries.

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

SURREY, ENGLAND (ANS) – A Christian human rights organization is deeply troubled by an acid attack on an elderly CatholicFather Anselm Mwang'amba displays his terrible injuries. priest in Zanzibar on Sept. 13.

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said in a news release that the incident, the latest in a series of assaults on churches and church leaders in the semi-autonomous archipelago, highlights a worrying deterioration in freedom of religion or belief in Tanzania.

Father Anselm Mwang’amba was attacked as he left an Internet cafe in the historic Stone Town area of the Zanzibar capital, and is currently hospitalized with severe burns to the face, neck and hands.

CSW said according to a local report, while inside the cafe Father Mwang’amba received a call from an unknown number and was doused with acid as he exited to answer his telephone.

The assault on Father Mwang’amba is the fourth major attack on a Christian leader in Zanzibar since December 2012, when a Catholic priest was wounded by unknown gunmen.

Local Christians report receiving threats via text message or in leaflets naming church leaders who have been targeted for assassination, and in some instances referring to a prospective date.

In February, the murder of a Protestant pastor was followed a week later by the killing of a Catholic priest.

In addition, CSW reported, at least 20 churches have been looted and either burnt or demolished, allegedly by supporters of the separatist religious movement Uamsho (Awakening). Perpetrators of religious violence are never brought to trial even when identified or caught in the act, and police investigations are generally extended indefinitely.

In a comment to CSW on the attack on Father Mwang’amba a local Christian speaking on condition of anonymity said, “We are asking the international community to intervene in this issue. Christians do not have any protection. In this environment we live in so much fear of what will happen to whom tomorrow.”

CSW has also received reports of increasing discrimination on the Tanzanian mainland and an inadequate official response to religion-related violence.

The family of a Pentecostal pastor beheaded in March in violence that erupted in Geita after the Muslim community objected to the opening of a Christian-owned butchery are still awaiting justice.

Christians complain of the inequitable application of public order regulations designed to maintain religious harmony, including discrimination in the granting of permits for open-air meetings and new media outlets.

In May, people died and more than 60 were injured when the inauguration service for a new Catholic Cathedral in Arusha was bombed in what the Tanzanian president described as a “terrorist attack.”

Daniel Sinclair, Communications Director at CSW said in the news release, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Father Mwang’amba, who we wish a speedy recovery. These threats and attacks targeting church leaders and church buildings are in violation of the Tanzanian constitution, which provides for freedom of religion or belief. If left unchecked, religious violence will ultimately undermine national cohesion. CSW calls upon the Tanzanian authorities to take decisive action to tackle rising extremism and prevent impunity from taking hold in any part of the country.”

He added, “It is vital that the Government of Zanzibar effectively addresses attacks on the local Christian community, offers protection to all who are under threat, adequately compensates churches that have been looted or demolished, and ensures that inciters and perpetrators of religion-related violence are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide works for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

For further information, visit www.csw.org.uk.

 

Security is heart of Halres’ highly successful organization

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Phrantceena Halres

By Phrantceena Halres
Special to Inside The Pew

Phrantceena Halres is owner and CEO of Total Protection Services Global, is a full-service, privately held company headquartered inPhrantceena Halres Charlotte, N.C. The company provides a comprehensive scope of high-threat/close proximity safety and security services for the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure including nuclear power, coal and other energy generating plants, new plant construction sites and certain government facilities.

According to Halres, “We’ve been in business for 11 years, and we understand the importance of each component of the security shield – from screening and recruiting to training and deployment. Each component demands thorough understanding, excellent planning and flawless execution by smart people. That’s why we’ve chosen to acquire the skill sets within our organization to match the needs of every aspect of the security equation.

“We do much more than just furnish security personnel – we also train them. The only way to penetrate that business is to hire security professionals.  Many of our specialists are from the ranks of the United States military, various law enforcement agencies, the nuclear security industry and government security services.”

Why did you create your business?

“I created TPS because I wanted the freedom to create what my father understood and honored during his life, and that is to help protect this country and our people.  I suppose you could say, I am serving my father through this life purpose, and teaching as many people as I can touch the importance of national security and those that work for it and are protected by it.”

What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?

“Deuteronomy 28 (entire chapter): ‘If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.  All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God. You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out …

“Psalm 91 (entire chapter): ‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”

“My gifts will make room for me and bring me before high priest (this one is my daily mantra).”

Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur?

“Know who you are!”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“It’s really a challenge for me to talk about my person.  I view myself as a server, and my life as service. Interesting about the business, though, is that I’m the first and only African American woman CEO ever in the world that leads a highly specialized nuclear safety and protection services company.”

Learn more about Total Protection Services Global at http://total-protections.com/.

Review: Spiritual love tested, unfolds in ‘Under A Withering Sun’

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Under A Withering Sun small

By Tonya Andris
Inside The Pew

We’ve all been taught not to read another person’s diary.

In the case of author Chaka Heinze, reading someone else’s diary is the premise for an inspirational romance novel about two youngChaka Heinze college students. The pair’s quest for earthly love and spiritual love unfolds through Heinze’s epistolary writing.

Published through Christian book publisher Athanatos Publishing Group, Under A Withering Sun ($14.95 USD, Athanatos Publishing Group) introduces readers to Regina Leeman, who struggles emotionally after the sudden death of her parents and twin sister.

To mask her pain, Regina volunteers to teach a creative writing class to young teens at the “Wreck” for the summer. Her good intentions are tossed in a tailspin when she develops feelings for a handsome, yet persistent, basketball player, Damion Martin. Among her struggles, she feels guilty for falling in love while on the four-week volunteer project. The challenge Regina consistently encounters is her inability to appear complete to others. She feels she needs to be complete for God to love her. She believes Damion shouldn’t have feelings for a young woman like her because she has “issues.”

Heinze daringly challenges readers to see the quest for God through the eyes of a backslider and a doubter of Jesus Christ. In fact, theUnder A Withering Sun best part of Heinze’s spiritual novel is that it is not sugar coated. As the novel progresses, the reader sees the bumpy progression of the characters’ quest for Him. At one moment, Regina discloses, “At one time I’d lived among the faithful, but life had conspired to carry me far off the path. Now I existed in a kind of spiritual limbo.”

Heinze’s presentation of Regina’s story fits well with the mystery and congruency of the novel. Furthermore, Regina’s triumphs and struggles become realistic in the mind of the reader and the journal entries lend credibility to the narrator. This writing style is featured in many novels, including The Color Purple by Alice Walker and Bridget Jones’ Dairy by Helen Fielding. The author’s talent for writing shines in her use of a lesser-known narrative choice.

Under A Withering Sun is Heinze’s first full-length novel.  As a side note, the novel is also available on eBook (Nook and Kindle) for $4.95.

Always a writer at heart, Heinze dabbled in poetry and storytelling from an early age. While attending the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, she penned a column for the college newspaper and was recognized for abilities to write short stories in a contest sponsored by the university. She also received a JD from the University Of Nebraska College Of Law.

Learn more about Heinze and her novel at http://awitheringsun.com/

Tonya Andris is features editor and book reviewer for Inside The Pew. Contact her at pewnews@aol.com.

NAEIR redistributes corporations’ unsold products to nonprofits

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Feature

By Gary C. Smith
Special to Inside The Pew

Gary C. Smith is the president and CEO of the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources (NAEIR). The nationalCongressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), NAEIR president and CEO Gary C. Smith, and  former Congressman Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) take part in discussion at NAEIR headquarters. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is a gifts-in-kind type organization that solicits donations of excess inventory from American companies and redistributes a wide range of materials to its membership base of approximately 12,000 nonprofits, schools and church organizations throughout the country. Smith, who has served as president and CEO since 1993, is the son of NAEIR’s founder Norbert C. Smith.

Why did you create your business?

“Over the years and during the course of business dealings with a wide range of companies, many of them major corporations, Norbert C. Smith, a business executive and entrepreneur, observed that there were millions of dollars of unsold products, in perfectly good condition, simply collecting dust in warehouses or being sent to landfills.

“He founded NAEIR in 1977 as a means of capturing this material and making it available initially to schools across the country. NAEIR was the first organization of its kind; serving as a middleman between American corporations and nonprofits, schools and churches throughout the U.S.  It is the leading gifts-in-kind organization in the country and has received over $3 billion dollars in donations of inventory since its founding.”

What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?

“‘Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.’ – Psalm 31:5 (NKJV).”Gary C. Smith

Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur?

“Never give up! Keep listening to others (customers, employees, and friends). The answer will be revealed. Listen more than you speak.”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“I’m a recovering alcoholic. No slips for 28 years (February 1985)…with the help of the Lord and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous).”

Visit their website at www.naeir.org and NAEIR’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NAEIR. The organization’s toll free number is (800)-562-0955.

Smith on entrepreneurship: Crawl, walk, and then run

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Paula Smith, author of “Easy Steps Learning Series,” participates in the agape Christian Center Back To School Bash in Arlington, Texas, on Aug. 10. East Steps gave away school supplies, calculators, and ITUNES gift cards to visitors.

By Paula Smith
Special to Inside The Pew

Paula Smith is founder of Providing Leading Solutions, LLC — a company that specializes in Microsoft© technology solutions,Paula Smith, author of “Easy Steps Learning Series,” participates in the agape Christian Center Back To School Bash in Arlington, Texas, on Aug. 10. East Steps gave away school supplies, calculators, and ITUNES gift cards to visitors. leadership and professional training, and curriculum development for Microsoft products for a global society. PLS is a Microsoft© Partner. Smith is the author of “Easy Steps Learning Series,” a series of books that provides Microsoft training in Outlook 2010 and PowerPoint 2010.

Why did you create your business?

“I created my business to help and train others in the area of technology.”

What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13 (KJV).

Share the best advice you can with an entrepreneur.

“The best advice I can share with an entrepreneur is you have to set goals or reset your goals even when you miss them and do not get discourage but lessons learn and build upon it to strengthen you. Sometimes you have to crawl, walk, and then start running with an unstoppable mind.

“When challenges happen, do not get discourage. Just change your focus into positive energies and divine strategies to get through them. You may have to re-position yourself geographically, but never fear the unknown and never fear to be successful! Great leaders endure. Be empowered, encouraged and enlighten!”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“I am an ordained minister, and I enjoy working in the ministry, the arts, cooking, song writing, geek gadgets, and technology.”

Connect with Smith at http://www.easystepslearningseries.com. Both training manuals are available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. E-reader versions are also available. She is also on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Know a Christian business owner we should feature in  the Pew Business Spotlight? Email suggestions to pewnews@aol.com.

 

 

Rutgers football team to worship with Somerset congregation

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights

By Jacob Trimmer
Inside the Pew

Members of the Rutgers University football team will worship with the flock at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens at 11 a.m. onRutgers Scarlet Knights Aug. 18, according to a press release from church representatives.

The Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., said the Scarlet Knights will fellowship with the church and the community in celebration of a new season. Prayers will go up especially for the team.

“As parents of college athletes, my wife, Donna, and I experienced many emotions,” Soaries said. “Through it all, however, we supported their endeavors, cheered them to victory, and consoled them during defeat. This Sunday we plan to do the same for the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights football team; I’d like these young men to look across our congregation and see a ‘red sea’ of support.”

The Rutgers football team, led by Coach Kyle Flood, not only strives for excellence on the field but excellence in academics and in service to the community. The Scarlet Knights (5-2, 9-4) tied Cincinnati, Syracuse, and Louisville for the 2012 Big East Football Championship, while Flood was named the 2012 Co-Big East Coach of the year.

Soaries said the service is open to the public. Along with the recognition of the Rutgers football team, praise and worship will take place. The church and community are being asked to wear the color red in honor of the Scarlet Knights.

Founded in 1937, First Baptist of Lincoln Gardens is a vibrant community-focused, multi-cultural and historical African-American church rooted in Baptist doctrine. The church is located at 771 Somerset St. in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, N.J.

Rutgers opens its 2013 campaign Thursday, Aug. 29 at Fresno State.

For more information on the church and its ministries, visit www.fbcsomerset.com

Kubicek: Love, righteousness essential in building your legacy

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Steve Kubicek

By Steve Kubicek
Special to Inside The Pew

Summit Partners LLC is a limited liability company providing publishing and administration services for author, speaker, and businesSteve Kubiceks consultant, Steve Kubicek.

What is the one scripture that you draw strength from?

“Joshua 1:9 (NIV) is the verse I reach for when I’m facing a challenge. It reads, ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’”

Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur?

“Are life, prosperity, and honor important to you? Assuming they are, keep reading. Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, left a treasure map that promises to lead to life, prosperity, and honor. Solomon imbedded the map in the form of an instruction. You can discover the map for yourself by carefully studying verse 21:21 within Solomon’s book of Proverbs. You will note that he first explains for whom his treasure map is intended. Solomon says, ‘He who pursues… .’ Do not miss this point. Solomon makes it clear. He means you, if you are willing to follow the instruction that follows. Solomon continues, ‘He who pursues righteousness and love will find … .’ Notice that this statement is definitive. Solomon declares that whoever pursues righteousness and love will indeed find, ‘life, prosperity, and honor.’ What a promise; what a pursuit.

Your legacy is dependent upon your pursuit of love! I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 13 when he said now"Up and In" I will show you the way of life that is best of all – love. Paul says that ‘love’ is the most excellent way. Paul also warns that if we achieve our accomplishments without love our legacy will end up amounting to little more than an irritating noise; certainly not prosperity and honor.

“As an entrepreneur it is important to recognize that in addition to building our business we are also constructing our legacy? According to the teachings of Paul and Solomon, depending on the path pursued, we either establish a legacy of little consequence, or we build a legacy of prosperity and honor. The determining factor is a choice. Will we intentionally choose a pursuit of righteousness and love in all our business dealings and life activities, or not?

“Pause for self-examination: What paths are you pursuing? Are you pleased with the legacy you leave at the end of each day? To test the status of your legacy and determine if you need to make adjustments insert your name in place of the word ‘love’ in Paul’s description of the attributes of love below (see underlines): ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boost, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres’ – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV).

“Now ask yourself, am I on the right path?”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“I would love to invite readers to visit www.upandinbook.com, the official website of my debut book, UP and IN: Seven Keys to Unlocking Your Potential.  I created UP and IN, a personal growth guide, as a means of showing how to adopt the Up-and-In point of view—a powerful, transformative, uplifted, inspired mindset that turns down-and-out attitudes upside down.”

Want to have your business featured in the Pew Business Spotlight? Send us an email expressing interest to pewnews@aol.com.

Hardin-Simmons welcomes 167 players for first day of fall practice

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Hardin-Simmons head football coach Jesse Burleson

Special to Inside The Pew

ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons’ football team reported 167 players on Aug. 15 for the first day of fall drills.Jesse Burleson

“We are excited to get going,” third-year head coach Jesse Burleson said of the inaugural drills. “We have put a lot of work since the final game of last year to get to this point and this is where all of that hard work pays off.

“Every position is up for grabs and we are ready to get the best 22 on the field. I probably shouldn’t say this, but it is what we believe, we expect to go 10-0, win the conference and go to the playoffs. Looking at anything less sells us short as a team.

“That is not a shot at anyone we play, it will be tough and we know that and are prepared for that. We play two of the top four teams in the nation this year, plus another very good Willamette team and our conference schedule. The road is not easy but we like the challenge.

The Cowboys return a bevy of weapons from an offense that led the nation in passing and was second in scoring a year ago. HSU will have to replace record-setting quarterback Logan Turner.

“We have people that we feel can play with anyone in the country, we have some guys that are as good as we have had in this program. We think we stack up. Obviously, we lost a very good quarterback, but we have several guys in that room that can win football games for us, it is our job to find the right one.”

Defensively, the Cowboys took some lumps a year ago, but part of that was intentional and with a stock pile of young defensive players now a year older and more experienced the expectations are high for the defense.

“We knew we were going to have some inconsistencies on defense last year, we played a lot of freshmen and sophomores,” said Burleson. “That was by design. We recruited a lot of good players, but they had to learn on the run.”

“To get where we want to be we have to be better defensively and those young guys, who are very talented, received some lumps, there is no doubt. That will make us better. We expect that we will be more consistent and we are a year stronger. We expect with this many returners we will be able to build around them and keep getting better.”

HSU will open its season on Sept. 6 at Willamette (Ore.) at 9 p.m CST.

 

Davis: Is it really a blessing?

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Ahmad Davis

By Ahmad Davis
Special to Inside the Pew

Scripture for study: “The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” Proverbs 10:22 (NLT).

I can remember my first car that I bought with my own money (sort of), it was a bright red Geo Prism. I was very excited because itAhmad Davis was my first big purchase and I got a loan on it with a low monthly payment and a moderate interest rate. You could not have told me that God did not bless me with this vehicle, I was excited and thanked God repeatedly for this blessing.

My age was 19 and I had few bills, so I started to use my new credit cards to accessorize my new car with an improved speaker system, new rims, and custom interior changes. And of course there came a new wardrobe to compliment the new ride.

Over time, my payments started to stretch me thin and I had to start making choices between maintenance needs and bills, I chose maintenance. This was a cascading effect as my bills started to go delinquent and the pressure and stress started to mount in my relationships personally and at work. As a result, my personal finances were in shambles as well as my sanity.

As I started to read more on personal finance via the Bible and listen to people such as Dave Ramsey I have come to a simple conclusion, God does not bless people with debt-people rationalize it. There is not one scripture in the Bible that endorses borrowing money, every scripture either strongly encourages you to stay away completely or to get out quickly.

On the other hand, God can and will bless ownership. When you have ownership of something, it is under your authority to transform, rebuild, sell, or repurpose as you see fit. The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13: 1-23) illustrates how God can multiply what you possess, but only if you own it.

The soil in the parable was not borrowed land; it was owned by the sower and therefore capable of being developed and transformed into good soil that God could bless, increase and multiply.

In this I challenge you to transform your thoughts on how God blesses you and position yourself to be an owner (the sower) and allow God to show you what to buy that will be something He can bless so that there will be no sorrow with it.

New Salvation Army world leader wants spiritual focus

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General Andre Cox

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

LONDON (ANS)Taking over a global organization best known for its social service work, the Salvation Army’s new internationalGeneral Andre Cox leader said in an interview he wants the Christian movement’s religious work to take center stage for the 1.7-million member church.

According to the Washington Times, General Andre Cox, 59, said from London in one of his first interviews since his election Aug. 3, “The reputation of the Army has been won over generations because of the hard work of the people who day in and day out get on with the ministry.”

He added, “One of the concerns I share  is to ensure we are rooted and confident in the word of God, and we want to obviously reflect on the authority of Scripture, what it means to us. I want to see an Army on prayer, and I also want to see an Army that reflects the mind of Jesus.”

The Zimbabwean-born Cox, formerly the organization’s chief of staff, assumes his command at a moment of unusual organizational uncertainty for The Salvation Army.

The Washington Times reported that two months ago his predecessor, Gen. Linda Bond, abruptly relinquished her position and retired, with the organization citing only “personal reasons” for her departure. She had held the Army’s top post only since April 2011 and had given no prior notice of her intention to step down.

While not addressing Bond’s motives for leaving, Cox said of his former boss, “I have seen a woman of great courage, great faith, and great vision,” saying her vision statements for the Army “will be a lasting legacy.”

Formally operating in the United States since 1880, 15 years after its founding in London’s East End, the Washington Times said the Salvation Army’s social services have sometimes overshadowed its evangelical Christian roots and mission.

Those services encompass disaster relief, adult rehabilitation centers serving those with substance abuse and other problems, aid to families needing food and other assistance, and ministries to those in or leaving prison as well as after-school programs.

Religious programs underlie Salvation Army services at each of its installations, but have been less visible in the public, and Cox said he wants to see that change.

“One of the things that h as challenged me, particularly in recent years, is the f ct we are a people who have received grace from God. We’re grateful for His love and His transformation in our lives, but it’s more than theory, it’s got to take root in us and it’s got to be visible,” he said.

At the same time, the Washington Times said, Cox emphasized “the focus on the poor and the marginalized. I think that is our constituency and I want to see a strong emphasis on that.”

Cox, the son of Salvation Army ministers who until his election held the number two position at the group’s international headquarters, said the movement’s operations in Britain offered an example of balancing social work and spiritual outreach.

“In the United Kingdom, with the economic crisis at the moment, local churches are more in the front line of providing support in many practical ways to the communities we serve. I think that recaptures something of the original calling,” he said.

Of the Army’s signature “red kettles,” used to collect donations during Christmas and on other occasions during the year, the Washington Times reported Cox said he’d not heard of any plans to abandon their use in the face of rising concerns about security for those manning the kettles.

The well-known red kettle that sits outside of stores during the holidays is kept locked and hangs from a five foot metal stand. The stand is meant to keep thieves from running off with it, but it doesn’t stop everyone.

On Christmas Eve 2009, Major Philip Wise, a Salvation Army pastor in Little Rock, Ark., was shot and killed by robbers after picking up kettles in his area.

“Security becomes a problem,” Cox said of the kettle effort. “It would be sad if we were forced to” curtail the program, he added, saying it was “also important from a visibility point of view to be present on the streets and to be seen.”

Losing the kettles, he said, “would be a loss in many ways. They’re great opportunities to engage with people.”