An investigation is underway after a Waterloo church was hit with ‘hateful’ graffiti for the second time in two months.
Parkminster United Church notified 570 NEWS on Thursday that they discovered two separate instances of graffiti on their property.
Reverend Heather Power says she was shocked when she got a call about the vandalism.
“Our custodian let me know that he discovered more graffiti at the front steps of our church, as well as a second set of graffiti over in the far parking lot by our main sign.”
Power says unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened.
“About a month ago, we were hit with some graffiti as well. We did some steps to reclaim it and make it our own with a mural, but due to the weather we had to put that on hold as it wasn’t agreeing with the painting. Unfortunately now, we’ve had some more graffiti show up at our doorstep this morning – and we feel it’s a little bit more serious than last time.”
Power says this is extremely disheartening.
“At the same time, it’s a reminder that the work we do is important. We know that not everyone agrees with it, but I stand by what Parkminster stands for — being a welcoming, affirming, and inclusive place. It’s important that we make that message known, regardless of what shows up on our doorstep the next day.”
Power says one of the messages spray-painted was ‘ROMANS 1:32’, a verse often used for homophobic purposes.
The full verse reads, “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
“The bible can be interpreted in many ways, and unfortunately, this is one of the ways that people choose to use it. I personally am a believer in the overall message of love and acceptance, I think that’s who God calls us to be. Whether your Christian or not, fellow human beings need to treat each other with love and respect, and that’s what we try to promote here at Parkminster,” said Power.
Power says they’re wondering if the graffiti is related to their World AIDS Day vigil happening at the church on Friday.
“Last time the graffiti showed up, it was in reference to an LGBTQ potluck. On our sign that can be seen from the main road, we have a message about our World AIDS Day event, and we’re thinking this new graffiti may be in connection with that.”
Regional Police have already been called to the scene, and may work with their Hate Crimes Unit on the investigation.
Power says the church appreciates the continued support from our community.
“We just want to find a way to keep promoting love and acceptance in our community.”
Anyone with information on these incidents is urged to contact Regional Police or Crime Stoppers.