A few gems that didn’t make the cut


Above: Gas is $1.59 a gallon, but people are staying home and staying safe. This is Main St. in front of Buddy’s at 11:38 on March 25, 2020. One nice thing about all this is that getting around Brooklyn has been pretty easy lately. Don’t worry, our little town will get busy again soon enough.

Trying to tell the whole story

By Matt Schepeler

I wrote a story last week about Irish Hills area clergy, who are struggling with comforting their congregations in a time when everyone is freaking out.

Many of the comments and points the pastors made got left on the scrapheap. That is, until now. Looking back at them, I felt they were too good to waste.

Here are a few gems:

Fr. Tom Helfrich, St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Clarklake

“I love this parish. I love this area. I love this community. We have this building on Hayes Road at Jefferson, but our parish ranges far and wide, a community of everyday people, ordinary and extraordinary, sinners working to be saints, most of us inclined to be very self-focused, but drawn beyond ourselves by the message of the Gospel to reach out in service and welcome. As far as I’m concerned, St. Rita is everyone’s church.”

Pastor Steve Samonek, Abundant Life Assembly of God in Brooklyn

“Many want to ask ‘where is God’ and ‘why doesn’t God stop this.’  I would suggest that God is right here with us. His Word promises that He is an ever present help in times of trouble.

“I would also say that although God works through all situations, He is not the author of sickness, disease, and death. John 10:10 says that it is the thief (Devil) that comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

“Now, more than ever, is the time to seek God and call upon His name.  He is willing and able to be with you in this time of trouble.”

Pastor John Masters, Cornerstone Community Church in Brooklyn:

“The Germans use a descriptive term for hoarders: Hamsterkaufen: one who gathers as a hamster, stuffing its’ cheeks. Markets are plummeting, and I’ve seen many interviews with the devastated, their net worth evaporating.

Matthew 6:19-21 says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Pastor Tom McMichael, Gateway Community Church in Onsted

“We are entering into a surreal, unknown situation, yet our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. When we rest in Him, He will guide us through. We are all learning to be strong in faith, to be in faith, and not be caught up in the constant news and commentaries.

“So listen to the good news, news that is informing us, but avoid the other stuff that just stresses us out. And pray. Pray for our country, our neighbors, our families. Pray for the people that have to go to work.”

Some dandies, eh? To read what else the pastors had to say, see this week’s paper, which is free, online. Details how to login are below.

Beginning March 24, The Exponent became available free online, so people who are isolated have access to local information.

We will also be putting some stories out on our Facebook page, with links to our website so people beyond our current reach can know what is available.

Of course, we don’t know what the paper will look like, how everything will come together, or how long we can keep going without ad revenue. It will be an adventure, for sure, but we are all in this together.

To read the paper online, go to, click on “online access,” enter the word Exponent in the username box and Freepaper! (case sensitive, and don’t forget the exclamation point) in the password box.

The paper is available in sections, so it loads faster. Visitors will also be able to look over past editions.

We hope that the paper helps residents stay informed and entertained in the coming weeks.

Thanks, and stay safe.

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