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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • THAT'S WHAT I THINK: School board should teach a lesson to Congress

  • I’ve heard only a few complaints about the Rolla Board of Education’s decision to go ahead with laying down synthetic turf on the football field even though the Turf by ’12 Committee didn’t raise enough money by ’12.
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  • I’ve heard only a few complaints about the Rolla Board of Education’s decision to go ahead with laying down synthetic turf on the football field even though the Turf by ’12 Committee didn’t raise enough money by ’12.
    Although I figured there would be a lot of complaints and letters to the editor, there have not been. Maybe most people see the value of the field.
    The board accepted a base bid of $629,555 from a Kansas contractor with a lot of experience building the fields. In addition, the board tacked on another $183,188 for some additional cosmetics on the fabric, such as a giant R for Rolla in the center of the field, plus some netting and changes to seating alignment. Irrigation of the practice field was added.
    That $812,743 expenditure of tax money will be mitigated by the $285,355 in donations and pledges of money and in-kind services raised by the Turf by ’12 Committee. Presumably, more contributions will be raised; they’re still being accepted on the school district’s website, I understand.
    By the time the 2013-2014 term starts in August, Rolla will have a synthetic turf field.
    There are many benefits to the community that will be seen from that.
    One that is particularly noteworthy is it will allow the reinstatement of the Route 66 Marching Band Festival. What a gem of a fall event that was. Mud forced its demise. Synthetic turf will allow it to return as a fall activity, not just for the young people who compete in it, but for all in the area who enjoy seeing the shows put on by the marching bands.
    I think the lack of negative reaction shows the community is grateful to the companies and individuals who worked with the turf committee. I think the community is also grateful to the financial management of the administration and the school board.
    If Congress would act like the school board, if the executive branch would act like the school administration, we’d have a much better country.
     
    Last year after a local church hired someone to dress like the Easter Bunny and drop candy-filled plastic eggs from a helicopter on Easter Sunday morning, I flayed them in a segment of this column.
    I offer no apology for that, but I think I have grown a little more understanding of what they are trying to accomplish. After reading an article in Christianity Today magazine (well, actually, on the website), I’ve become more informed about the post-modern church and a new movement called “radical Christianity.”
    These “radical” churches nowadays are saying they are getting out of the church houses and into the community as a way of following Jesus. An acquaintance who considers himself a “radical Christian” explained the new movement this way: “’Radical' to us is merely true discipleship. It's only radical because western Christians have gotten comfortable.”
    Page 2 of 2 - I asked him what “radical” act his church is involved in. He said. “I wouldn't use the word radical. But today (we are) giving away 800 hotdogs and coffee (next to) the church before the parade.”
    That was the way the church believed they were showing true discipleship to Jesus on St. Pat’s weekend.
    The helicopter egg drop church feels called by Christ to hire a guy in a bunny suit and a helicopter and drop candy-filled eggs on the throngs below. That’s their way of reaching out to the community in radical discipleship. I’m starting to understand it.
    Now, it seems to me that the churches my acquaintance says have gotten “comfortable” are just as “radical.” There’s a traditional, not radical, church that gives away coats. One gives away shoes. There’s another that gives away free food one Saturday a month. There are other churches that have “clothes closets” for people in need, and “food pantries.” The churches work together on Christmas through a local organization to get presents to children and food to families.
    So I guess it boils down to this: Do what you think Jesus has called you to do, whether it’s giving away food and clothes, or hotdogs on parade day, or even if you think He wants you to dress up in an Easter Bunny suit as a way to glorify Him. It’s all good.
    I won’t be at the radical Christian egg drop. I am a radical sinner, so I’ll be in a traditional, “comfortable” church, asking Jesus for forgiveness and thanking him for his sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection from the grave. That’s my calling on Easter.
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