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Downtown Church Hit by Vandal Overnight

Sometime overnight Monday a vandal threw a rock through the most ornate window at First Lutheran Church in St. Joseph as staff now looks for answers.

Posted: Oct 9, 2017 5:10 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2017 10:42 AM


Sometime late Sunday or early Monday a vandal threw a rock through the most ornate window at First Lutheran Church in St. Joseph as staff now looks for answers.

"Obviously is some kind of anger that built up to a point that caused a person to go and to throw a small boulder through the window," First Lutheran Pastor Roger Lenander said.

The church's back window, the scene of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane, has been there since the church was built in 1913.

It has been a well known image to anyone who visits the church, now destroyed.

"It's not really a financial cost but there will be an emotional cost as we look at the window," Lenander said.

It's still unclear to staff why someone would decide the throw a rock through the window, but they're not going to let the anger stop them from continuing to worship.

Our prayers are going to be for the law enforcement," Lenander said. "For ourselves as a congregation that we don't allow that hate to change our love for others in the community in which we live and also to pray for the perpetrator because that didn't take care of their anger."

Even with thousands of dollars for repairs needed, staff say it's time to forgive.

"There is something about now I will be looking back and will be seeing this broken glass and it becomes more real what forgiveness is," Lenander said.

Staff say they were able to get video of the vandalism as it was taking place, but it was too dark to see the face of the person doing the damage.

If you have any information, you are asked to call the police department or the TIPS Hotline at (816) 283-TIPS.

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