As a neighbor to the proposed Dover Rail Trail, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church has been asked to take a position on the trail. In the past (2013 and 2016), the vestry, the duly elected representatives of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, has issued statements in support of the proposed rail trail. Each year, our vestry makeup changes.
Recognizing that St. Dunstan’s has parishioners who represent both sides of this issue and wishing to remain a community of faith that is welcoming to all, we respectfully offer the following:
St. Dunstan’s, and the Episcopal Church as a whole, considers environmental stewardship an integral part of our call as Christians. We are stewards of God’s earth, and nature provides us a way to explore our faith and offers us another space to commune with God and to be closer to God in his world.
It is in our call to environmental stewardship that we can see benefits to the proposed rail trail. In providing a safe outdoor path, people of the community will be given another place in which to enjoy nature and the wonders of God’s creation, as well as to come together in community. We also see that the proposed trail would offer those with disabilities or limited mobility access to the wonderful nature around us.
As a neighbor, we do not foresee any negative impact that the trail will have on the church or its property. We do, however, recognize that not all abutters and neighbors feel the same way.
Recognizing that this is a contentious debate in town, and as we continue in the season of Easter, let us also remind the people of Dover of Jesus’ last words to us, which we heard on Maundy Thursday: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13: 34)
St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church
18 Springdale Avenue
Dover, MA 02030
April 19, 2017