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It is the “Second New Year” of 2011.

With the start of school, there will be another chance for beginning again. We probably need this second chance, after working on committees for numerous summer events. It is not easy to work around short tempers, low budgets, lack of volunteers, etc. Perhaps in the past year, you have said, “I have gotten my feelings hurt. You saw what happened. Don’t I have the right to be mad about this? How can I forget what (he/she) said to me?”

Every day something occurs that can cause you to be offended, like someone jumping in line before you in the cafeteria or cutting you off in traffic. It is much harder to handle when a “friend” gossips or doesn’t give credit for the hours you have slaved on a project. The initial reaction of hurt is probably justified, but we do not have the right to let those feelings take over our lives.

The Bible has instructions in Matthew 18:22 about how to handle forgiveness--how often we would need to be forgiven. We are not told to deny our hurt feelings, just to forgive.

Forgiveness is not saying the actions were right. It is taking you out of the position of judging and leaving it in God’s hands. I would want them to do the same for me.

Forget what is behind. Look forward to what is ahead and accentuate the positive.

Have a blessed second beginning of 2011!

*          *          *          *          *

Reaction to Tuesday’s earthquake, which was centered in Virginia, from former residents:

Joe Morris, CCHS graduate, Pittsburgh, Pa.:

A little perspective on the situation, since I know that many of us consider earthquakes to be unusual in the east. The fact is that we live in an area that is laced with numerous faults, both small and large, but which have mostly been dormant over recent history, but with occurrences of minor movement over the years (Braxton Co., for example.). These faults run through the states of Tenn., Ky., W.Va., Va., Pa., and N.Y., among others, primarily associated with the collision of the continents that created the Appalachian Mountains. Most earthquakes in the east are found along lateral ramps. One of the guys at our office checked and found that this quake was centered along a CSD (cross-strike discontinuity), which we have mapped that continues into central West Virginia.

This is the largest quake in Virginia since 1897, but there have been several small quakes in recent history in Virginia, almost 20 since the late 1700’s with a Richter reading of 4.0 or above. Many more are recorded all over the U.S. that are under 3.0 on the Richter scale (1.3 million since 1900)--these are barely discernable.

A history of earthquakes in Virginia can be read at the following website, www.geol.vt.edu/outreach/vtso/VA-Eq.html (an older paper from 1989 that doesn’t even reference the three earthquakes reported in Virginia since 2000).

Additional information on earthquakes can be found at the following website: www.earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states.

Carleen Webb, CCHS graduate, Haymarket, Va.:

I certainly did feel it. I had never experienced an earthquake before and didn’t really understand what was happening initially. But fortunately the assistant rector at my church (we were in a staff meeting) knew this was a pretty significant one and yelled, “Everyone outside!” So we all dashed out. It was pretty exciting. There was no real significant damage that I’ve heard of in this area other than, unfortunately, some damage to the Washington National Cathedral. The federal government released all its employees at the same time, so we had major traffic jams all afternoon!

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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