Jan 13, 2020 11:57 PM

Cleanup of building and hearts continues at vandalized Hutch church

Posted Jan 13, 2020 11:57 PM

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON — The pastor of a Hutchinson church vandalized by two juveniles just before Christmas says cleanup continues.

"We had to rely on Phoenix Restoration for the bulk of the cleaning," First Congregational Church Pastor Matt Stafford said. "They are still in the process with a few things. I imagine it will be another month before we're back to normal."

The process of getting an opportunity to teach the young men, ages 9 and 10, who committed the acts is underway.

"Both of the adults where the juveniles live have contacted us and have made an effort to meet with us and see what can be done as far as community service with these young men," Stafford said.

It's important to go forward with grace, as well.

"We're concentrating on what God has done for us," Stafford said. "We try to behave in a way that would be honoring to Christ. Even when there are major mistakes made, we've got to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and go forward from here. God is a gracious God and Scripture says, by grace you have been saved. We feel like we should grant that same grace to those who offend us or who are in the situation where they need not only forgiveness, but reconciliation."

Stafford notes that they don't equate forgiveness with approval. He said he heard once that to not forgive somebody is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

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Jan 13, 2020 11:57 PM
Kansas Farm Bureau Insight: Stronger together

By GLENN BRUNKOW, Pottawatomie County farmer and rancher

We have flipped the calendar to a new year, and that also means the “silly season” of politics is starting in earnest. This year promises to be an even sillier year than most because of state and national elections.

More than just about any year I can remember, there is more at stake for our nation, state and, most importantly, for rural Kansas.

Increasingly we are seeing our population drop in most of rural Kansas, which means our political influence also is shrinking. We are seeing a shift of political power swing to more populated portions of the state. This could spell trouble for agriculture as many of those in more urban areas are more removed from agriculture and often don’t fully understand our point of view or how issues affect us.

That is why it is so important for us to tell our side of the story, for us to let our views and stances on critical issues be known. If we don’t advocate for ourselves no one else will, and our interests will be forgotten.I know many of you are like me. I feel like I am so bogged down in my day-to-day activities and work that I don’t have time to get involved. It is hard to know how to make your opinion heard and even harder to know how to make your vote count. It seems awfully lonely out here in rural Kansas and in agriculture.

I agree — it is hard to make your voice heard as a lone citizen. It is possible, and it is something we should not ignore. But often a lone voice is not very effective. That is why being a member of Kansas Farm Bureau is so critical for all of us in agriculture. It is a way for us to combine our voices and make them louder.

When we come together as a group, we magnify our power and influence. However, this does not lessen the importance of each one of us or our individual influence over our own elected officials. That is why it is also important to not only join Kansas Farm Bureau but to be an active member. In the coming weeks and months we will have an opportunity to voice our opinion and to help educate and influence our elected officials. Through the elections we will also have the chance to decide who many of those officials are.

I ask that you take the time to find out how you can be an active part in the efforts of our Kansas Farm Bureau. Sign up for alerts and contact your elected officials. Kansas Farm Bureau is the most influential farm organization in our state, and that is because we are a grassroots organization of farmers and ranchers who band together for a stronger, louder voice.

"Insight" is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state's largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.