A new calling: Respected Waynesville PD lieutenant leaves law enforcement in his prime

Amid a tough time for law enforcement when stories about good officers leaving the profession dominate headlines, the Waynesville Police Department is losing one of its most experienced and respected officers. But while many leave law enforcement due to burnout or poor workplace culture, Lt. Tyler Trantham’s exit is different — it’s a matter of faith.

Shipwreck, survival and faith all in one novel

Novels that touch on faith and God have long intrigued me.

My church embraces LGBTQ members

By Nina Dove • Guest Columnist

When I walked into a Reconciling Ministries meeting at my church (First United Methodist Church of Waynesville) four years ago, I had very few expectations. The Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) is an organization devoted to promoting the inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ persons in the church. Having been raised in a church with a large percentage of retired ministers, and retirees in general, I was cautious about our chapter of RMN; I assumed, walking in to the room, I would see primarily young and middle-aged adults, and perhaps one or two crotchety homophobic elders only there to voice their dissent. Not that I thought that people over 65 were incapable of being open-minded, but to some extent I believed the stereotype that older people, especially religious ones, would refuse to accept gay people. 

The essence of power is a towel

There, in Sumter County, Georgia, not far from the Alabama line lies the tiny town of Plains (pop. 784), a most unremarkable place home to a most remarkable man. 

Home for President Jimmy Carter has always been the clay roads and cotton fields of Plains, except when he was at Annapolis, in the Navy, or serving as state senator or governor or president. 

Learning to connect with the other world

The night after my mom died, my dad stepped out on the front porch with my brother-in-law, whose father had passed away only a month earlier. As they looked up, two shooting stars, one after the other, flew through the night sky. We were convinced it was our two family members comforting us from afar.

Finding civility in a polarized society

Globalization has made our big world seem much smaller, but it’s also pushed us farther away from one another. 

Instead of focusing on finding common ground with those who have opposing religious or political views, society segregates itself with others who believe the same way they do. 

SEE ALSO:
Speakers call on interfaith work for social justice
Participants take home renewed faith

For me, there is real joy in solitude

My favorite time of day is quiet time. Every morning before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, before I turn on my laptop or check social media on my phone, I spend at least 30 to 45 minutes in stillness with my thoughts, with God, with the whispers of the universe. It’s become a daily ritual for me, and one that’s a lifeline. 

My quiet time began in earnest when my mom passed away last August. After saying good-bye to her, I realized the only way to truly grieve was to be alone. While I appreciated and still do appreciate encouragement from friends and advice from those who’ve had the same experience, true healing began once I embraced solitude. Only then were the memories clear, my new reality processed and the tears raw.

A once happy week now darkened

We leave for Disney World this weekend. 

I should be more excited, but with all that’s going on in our country, I’m feeling a bit uneasy about life. It’s hard to get giddy about something as seemingly trivial as Mickey Mouse when refugee children have nowhere to go and our country is imposing travel bans.

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