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Readers’ Views

Want to see new sign

To the Editor:

I have seen plenty of people with signs that say, “Stop Abortion Now.” I have never seen anyone with a sign in the other hand saying, “We will help you find a job, find day care, get counseling, find a place to live, etc.”

Harriet Richards

Fairmont

We must put God first

To the Editor:

We as “Christian” Americans live in two kingdoms. We are Christians and Americans, something that carries a burden much greater than those who have let their allegiance to God lapse or who completely deny God. We owe our allegiance to God first and to our earthly concerns and wants second. This seems to have been lost by many Christians over the years, especially in regard to politics, which now has evil people becoming the majority in the two major parties in our country.

God, through his word, leaves no doubt about how he feels about evil people and has made sure we know how to identify who evil people are. They are those who lie, commit adultery, slander others, bully, are self-centered, guided by greed, unethical, etc. (Mark 7:20-23, Romans 1:18-32) Yet instead of rebuking these types of people as God clearly directs us to, we give them our loyalty and even dare to promote them and their actions.

Even though we confess, when in Christian settings, that our loyalty is to God first, we don’t even flinch when bringing up an earthly reason as to why our actions are following and even promoting evil people for an earthly reasoning. We say things like, “I don’t like this or that earthly stance by the other party” or “I have to provide for my family and this party’s earthly stance allows me to make more money,” etc. By not staying loyal to God and supporting evil people, we have let our political system turn into two evil monsters with no Godly influence. They no longer even worry about hiding their evil ways because we as Christians haven’t been holding them accountable.

Watching our great country become more evil is disturbing, but the most saddening part is that Christians acting in this way stand the risk of sacrificing their souls to the Devil. God not only makes it clear how he feels about evil people, he also has made it clear that he doesn’t tolerate, for long, those who turn their loyalty from him to evil people. (John 3:16-21) There are no instances in God’s teachings in which he instructed any of his children to do or follow evil to gain an earthly want or desire, but there are many instances of where he will disown false followers who don’t put him first. (Luke 13: 22-30)

Christianity isn’t something we do once in a while when we think it benefits our earthly reasons or how we act when in a “Christian” setting, but God wants us to be his light 24/7 in everything we do. So while we are primarily to blame for the current evil morality of this nation, we are also the only ones that can start turning the tide back to God’s way. But first we ourselves have to stop following and promoting evil people and followers of evil. It is our Christian calling to rebuke evil and make sure our loyalty always puts God’s word 1st in our hearts and actions. (Titus 1:10-16)

If we put God first and get our priorities in line with God’s will for us, souls will be gained, evil in our nation will be reduced and America will be better for it.

Anthony Scheff

Fairmont

Ready to get to work

To the Editor:

Hey folks, my name is Alex Young-Williams and I’m new to the Fairmont community. The purpose of this letter is to introduce myself and explain my work to all of Fairmont, but first I’d like to give an overview of the organization I’m working for, Lead For Minnesota.

Lead For Minnesota recruits, trains and places young leaders in two-year paid fellowships across rural, tribal and economically distressed urban communities. They focus on places with bold visions to attract and retain the next generation of leaders to create a more unified Minnesota. Lead For Minnesota’s Fellowship program recruits and trains young leaders to address critical community challenges through placements in local government and nonprofits. Fellows are tasked with full-time work on a key public challenge, and also work to recruit other young people to the region over their two-year term.

Lead For Minnesota is an AmeriCorps Program that allows eligible Fellows to serve as AmeriCorps members within their placement. An advantage of the program is the wide range of resources each fellow has already connected with. During the initial training for the work, we met small-town mayors across Minnesota; and representatives from statewide funding organizations such as the Bush Foundation as well as from regional groups, such as the Region 9 Development Commission.

I was born and raised in the Washington, D.C., area. My father works for the civil service and my mother is currently a freelance writer and translator. I enjoy golfing, hiking and just being outdoors. I’m passionate about mental health and economic insecurity in particular.

I moved to Minnesota four years ago to attend Macalester College in St. Paul. I really enjoyed my time as a student, and as I became more involved in existing community networks, I began seriously considering staying in Minnesota beyond graduation. During this time, I also became more interested in local organizing and change making.

My placement in Fairmont, with the official title of community activator, is due to the work of Project 1590’s Steve Hawkins, in collaboration with the executive director of Lead For Minnesota, Benya Kraus, and FEDA director Linsey Preuss. They were able to draw up a project scope earlier this year that shapes my work.

While Project 1590 has helped to find funding sources for my work and is guiding me, I see my role as being an advocate of the Fairmont community as a whole, not only certain segments of the population. My main focus is on downtown revitalization, with additional emphasis on issues of economic development, affordable housing and childcare.

In order to most effectively address these challenges in Fairmont, I am conducting a listening tour with many different community leaders and stakeholders. The work that I pursue will be primarily based on the information, opinions and ideas I continue to receive. My intention with this project is to bring Fairmont residents together in a community visioning process that imagines what Fairmont could look like in the future without any limitations, and, over time, build a strong, inclusive and healthy community identity.

I hope that this helps to clarify my role here in Fairmont. I’m so excited to get to work on many of the great projects and initiatives that are already underway here. I’m always open for input from the community, so if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at alex.youngwilliams@gmail.com

Alexander Young-Williams

Fairmont

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