Re: "Street preachers part of an urban landscape," Paula Arab, Opinion, June 12.
I do not share Paula Arab’s opinion that, at worst, the street ministry’s loudspeaker preaching is a benign experience for one and all. As a runner using the pathway system extensively, I see and hear first-hand what goes on along our river pathways. I also organize a team of volunteers to work with Drop-In Centre clients on a bi-monthly basis to pick up litter in the Triangle Park area, along the river and across into Bridgeland. In my view, the street ministry’s activities contribute to problems in the area and generate significant amounts of litter. I find the activity surrounding the street ministry to be counter-productive and irritating at best.
I am told the sound from the loudspeakers is so loud inside the Drop-In Centre that pictures on the walls rattle.
There is nothing soothing about the unrelenting sermonizing and music from this group who seem hell-bent on being heard for miles around. The Drop-In Centre is a temporary home for many homeless Calgarians.
Why should these individuals have to put up with this kind of noise on a regular basis? Would you not protest if it was across the street from your home?
Joe Ceci, Calgary
Joe Ceci is alderman for Ward 9.
Sally Ann did it, too
We commend Paula Arab on her common-sense remarks. Art Pawlowski could be a prosperous businessman, but has instead chosen to be a voice for the poor.
Perhaps he is also a voice for the silent majority who don’t realize that our freedoms of speech and religion are being eroded, one case at a time in the courts.
The greater threat may be from those who are complaining to the city, hoping to shut down this good work. The gospel Pawlowski preaches is a message of hope and he is getting positive results, seeing some persons freed of addictions and getting jobs.
Years ago, the Salvation Army started in much the same way, except they added a hearty brass band to help spread their gospel. Now, wouldn’t that echo beautifully across the river! We agree with Arab that those who don’t like the message should just turn up their iPods and be thankful that every Sunday afternoon, Triangle Park becomes a place of refuge.
Lena Kowalski and Judith Backstrom, Calgary
Pop over to Paula’s
I have a suggestion for Art Pawlowski. He should move his ministry to a location where he can blast his preaching into Paula Arab’s living room. When he shatters her right to peaceful enjoyment of her home, she’ll change her tune pretty quickly.
Claudine Sandler Johnson, Calgary