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Chief's Monthly Message

Apr 01

[ARCHIVED] April 2016: Build It

The original item was published from April 1, 2016 9:26 AM to September 21, 2018 9:25 AM

March 24 began like any other day until I witnessed members of the Derby community gather at Woodlawn United Methodist Church to celebrate the life of Dolan Pelley. Described by the pastor as a “mover and shaker” of the community, this octogenarian was known and respected by a church full of friends, family and colleagues.

We gathered there because of Dolan, but we came together for each other. In doing so, we re-connected with and met new acquaintances. We continued the community-building process Dolan championed not just in his work and his family but also in his service in Derby Rotary, Derby Planning Commission, and his church. He was a community builder with his smile, his helping hands and his ice cream.
Kathy Sexton
This funeral caused me to reflect and thoughtfully consider our community’s next generations of builders—those who live in or near Derby, those who invest in Derby and those who commit to the notion of community and embrace their roles as builders of community life.

Engaging in community building might appear to be someone else’s role, so we leave it to the Dolan Pelleys of the world. We are busy with family and work commitments. What Dolan proved is that getting involved in church, government, and service is not just for the elite; it’s for everyone in her own way.

Recall the widow’s mite: every contribution makes a difference. The physical commitment of time and talent has at least as much value as a financial commitment. Stewardship means committing to build something greater than the sum of its parts. We call that community.

This point hit home later on Thursday evening as I sat at my own church across town at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. I saw residents of Rose Hill, Derby and Mulvane worship together to begin the Easter observances of Passover, the crucifixion and resurrection. It was more than personal worship; we too were building community.

Similar building is happening all over Derby, and it’s the most important building occurring in town.

Published in the Derby Informer on March 30, 2016.