Church's interviews with Wareham residents reveal concern about addiction, education

By Lydia Goerner | Jul 08, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner Church of the Good Shepherd, located at 74 High Street in Wareham, sees around 80 people on an average Sunday, who are now prepared to take their faith into the community.

How have you been active in the Wareham community? What are your concerns about our community? What are your dreams about how we can make Wareham stronger and healthier?

These are a few of the questions being asked by members of the Church of the Good Shepherd in their campaign to survey Wareham residents to find out how they can help the community.

The church members are interviewing as many people as they can, seeking to understand the needs, values and stories of those in town. So far, they have interviewed nearly 70 people, but the process will continue through the summer. Community leaders, including police, firefighters, those involved with governance and hospitals, teachers and school administrators are being sought out to give their opinions.

“We realized it’s important to be engaged in the community around us,” said Rev. Daniel Bernier, who has been at the church for more than six years. Bernier said the goal is not to convert people or bring them to Church of the Good Shepherd, but to “help make Wareham a better place.”

“We have been listening for several weeks and people have been very receptive,” Bernier said. “Some of them felt they were voiceless.”

Bernier said he has been surprised by the reaction and how many people have called the church asking to be interviewed.

The common themes he has heard so far are a concern about drug addiction and its impact on the community and worries about Wareham’s education system and how it can be improved.

Once it is clear what issues are the most important to people in the community, Bernier said the next step will be to create a plan of action to start seeing change. He hopes the church can be a leader in organizing the community to tackle problems with concrete actions.

“We’re pretty good at talking about things,” Bernier said. “But every once in awhile we rally to make change in our world.”

Bernier said he is confident the Wareham community will act when it is finished talking, working together to make a healthier community.

“We want to throw open wide the doors of the church for us to go out, not for people to come in,” Bernier said. “We want people to see we’re just regular folks. We’re your neighbors.”

A meeting will be held July 15 at the church from 9 a.m. to noon, open to anyone who wants to discuss common threads in the interviews and what the next steps should be to help the town.

Anyone from the community is welcome to be interviewed, Bernier said. Those interested can call the church at 508-295-2840 or find the Church of the Good Shepherd booth at the Swan Festival July 29, where more interviews will be conducted.

Rev. Daniel Bernier said the church members have conducted around 70 interviews of Wareham residents so far and plan to continue listening throughout the summer. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Jul 08, 2017 22:48

“We’re pretty good at talking about things,” Bernier said. “But every once in awhile we rally to make change in our world.”

Huh.  A church willing to get its hands dirty.  Unusual.  Gonna give these folks another look.


Bernier said he is confident the Wareham community will act when it is finished talking...

Well, yeah, we do that.



If you wish to comment, please login.