Tuesday, December 7, 2010
A downtown Wichita church is looking for answers after thieves break in for a second time in just two months.
It happened at the First Metropolitan Community Church in downtown Wichita overnight. Every Tuesday, the church feeds at least 600 people from its food pantry.
The mood is a little different this Tuesday, as church members are dealing with another break-in. Members pray for the criminals who broke into their church before handing out food to the needy.
Sometime overnight, the thieves broke into the downtown church breaking windows and doors, stealing every computer, the sound system, the generator, and food.
"Obviously, they were in a lot of desperation and need to resort to breaking into a church. a holy place, in order to feed themselves," Ady Gutierrez, a church member and volunteer said.
Because many of the people who worship here are gay and lesbian, Reverend Jackie Carter and her congregation hope the break-in wasn't because of discriminiation. They choose to believe it was someone in need that decided to violate the church.
The thieves stole about $20,000 in equipment and food. And, while there is enough to feed the hungry today, the break-in will affect the future in more ways than one.
"It takes a long time to rebuild that sense of security and that sense of belonging that gets taken by an unthoughtful act," Reverend Carter said.
Two months ago, someone stole the air conditioners from this church. Reverend Carter says service will go on Sunday as planned. And they will distribute food to the hungry from their food pantry on Tuesday as well. If you want to help, you can donate to the First Metropolitan Community Church of Kansas, 156 South Kansas Street, Wichita, KS 67211.