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Cooperation is key in Dassel and Cokato
October 10, 2011
by Pastor Ben A. Johnson, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Cokato

For 10 months, I have had the privilege of serving Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, and I will be here for probably another 10 months, until a new pastor has been called. I would like to share my impressions of your community.

Besides the cooperation of the various churches in the area, which is a blessing and gives local citizens real experience in the freedom of religion, there are many other cooperative efforts that I would like to highlight.

Even before I arrived, I had heard of the celebrated Corn Carnival, and when it finally arrived in early August, it certainly lived up to expectations. All that effort by so many is inspiring. And I love the way it serves as both a glue for the community and a magnet that draws people back year after year – and all of this fun without it being lubricated by beer.

I admire the way Cokato and Dassel cooperate as communities in education. Some years ago, I served another community where a new high school was built between two towns, one of 2,500 people, and one of 1,200. While the high school prospered, the larger town took the opportunity to close the elementary school in the smaller town, which made for hard feelings between the two communities. Here, I have never heard a word spoken against school cooperation.

I admire the cooperative spirit of the Rotary Club (I have not had the chance to sample others). There is such a “can do” spirit at work there.

I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church and some of its offshoots, and to get to know some of the towheads that populate our area.

And finally, I have learned much from the deep conversations at the men’s coffee group that meets at The Grounds. They never lack for people ready to expound on almost any subject!

Thanks, Cokato, for hosting me.