Pastor makes deal with New Church thief

LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - Thieves broke into a trailer on Sat. night, Dec. 31 2011 and stole from City Edge Church.

Members of City Edge Church went to their trailer to unload everything they needed for Sunday Morning Jan. 1st to find it was broken into. Over $7,000 worth of equipment was stolen.

Pastor Kevin Rush is releasing this letter to the thief:

Dear Church Trailer Thief, On New Years Day we picked up our trailer from its regular spot to find that you broke in and stole our equipment. You nabbed our church's speakers and subwoofers, microphone stands, drum shield, bass cabinet and amp, and all of the cases that carry the items. All in all it was over $7,000 in losses.
My first reaction was anger. I wanted our church's stuff back. I wanted justice. I wanted nothing more to hunt you down and find you, but then I remembered why I am a follower of Jesus. I am a follower of Jesus because God paid a great price to put my relationship back together with him and with others. lam a follower of Jesus because he pardoned my offenses and debt against him.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other.just as in Christ God forgave you.'
God is a God of justice, but he is also a God of forgiveness and second chances. God has forgiven me much and 1 want to not only forgive you, but offer you grace. Grace is a concept that at a great price to someone else they offer you the reward, merit, or gift of the price they paid. If you return the equipment you stole will not press charges. Instead I will write you a check for $1,000, no strings attached. I wish I could offer you more, but it is all I have. Email or call me at or 216-236-3970 and just say, "I have your stuff."

Even if you don't take me up on the offer I do not hold bitterness, anger or rage against you. I'm not going to hunt you down. I'm offering you forgiveness. I am offering you grace.

Love beyond reason,
Kevin Rush

City Edge Church is a new church in Lakewood, OH. that meets at 10:30 AM on Sundays in Garfield Middle School in Lakewood, OH.