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Letter: Let's Work Together

(Below is a copy of letter sent by Rev. Nelson Kalombo Ngoy of the Community United Methodist Church of East Norwich to parents of preschoolers)

First and mostly, let me preface that I am writing this letter with a profound and sincere gratitude to all  the members of the East Norwich community: especially to Carolyn Wilson and all the Wesley Nursery School teachers for their outstanding service throughout the years; showing their passion for teaching and the love of children. Their impact will not be forgotten.

I have a great deal of empathy for each and every parent and want to thank them and the members of the East Norwich Civic Association for your concerns.

I have received your concerns through emails, phone calls, letters, and I have listened and heard all of your voices and the passion that you have expressed over the closing of the Wesley Nursery School and the installation of the Verizon antennae. I want to assure you that as a church we take seriously our mission of serving the community with love, compassion, integrity and dignity.

In response to your concerns, I believe the Community United Methodist congregation has faithfully served the community over the years. The closing of the Wesley Nursery School is due to a financial difficulty.

The church has supported and sustained the operation for over 35 years based on the availability of the church endowment. However, since the church has run out of the endowment money, and the decrease in children enrollment, it was unfortunate we could no longer keep the nursery school open.

The concerns over the antennae, the church responded to a need of the community for the coverage of cell phones. This was done as a service to the community not to put anyone in danger, although it has been misinterpreted.

I am here to work with all of you as a community and to seek ways to address these issues. We can only address any concern if we work together with love, respect and integrity. Our hearts are in the community and community is in our hearts. We are committed to serve you.

Although there was no discussion between the church and the parents on the closing of the Wesley Nursery School, I want to apologize for that unfortunate mistake. I want to correct this by having full discussions at the church with all the parents who want to re-instate the Wesley Nursery School.

Many parents have expressed they would like to dismantle the antenna. Before that can be done, the community has to prove to the court that the antenna has negative effects on the health of children. If you want the reversing of the antenna that is currently at the church, I wish for us to all work together as a community and involve all the parents to come and discuss what can be done to reverse this problem.

As the pastor of Community United Methodist Church, I invite you to come and speak with me. Your concerns are my concerns. Together we can solve these issues.

Rev. Nelson Kalombo Ngoy