To the editor:
Re: May 11, letter regarding churches and their tax-free landscapes. [Anti-abortion Advertising Raises Hackles, Kelowna Capital News]
As Dean of the Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels, Kelowna, I write as a spokesperson from one of those churches and their tax-free landscapes.
Over the last seven years, the cathedral has been immersed in refurbishing its property. The gardens that have been created serve a number of purposes that benefit the local community: On Richter Street, a spiritual labyrinth inset into the landscape is available for public use; a Memorial Garden is located on Sutherland Avenue where people may bury the ashes of their loved ones; and, along the north side of the parking lot on Sutherland Avenue, a vegetable garden is planted and maintained by cathedral parishioners, the harvest of which supplies fresh produce for at-risk clients who are provided with food from our Cathedral Cupboard each Friday morning.
Beyond this, these xeriscape gardens set an example to the community for environmental responsibility.
As with any stereotype, while there may be some truth identified, blanket statements about churches and their tax-free landscapes fail to represent those churches that, in fact, demonstrate their gratitude by making every effort to give back to the local community.
Nissa Basbaum, Dean
Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels, Kelowna