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Waterloo ministers fear their church has been hit with hate crime vandalism

Photo by Steve Spahr, 570 NEWS.

The ministers at Parkminster United Church in Waterloo fear their congregation has been hit with hate-crime graffiti.

Rev. Joe Gaspar and Rev. Heather Power arrived at the church Wednesday morning to find someone had spray-painted onto the front steps of the church: “Romans 1:28” and “The church shall remain holy.”

Power says that’s a Bible verse that can be interpreted as a hate crime.

She says they suspect it was spray-painted at the church over their gay pride flag, and perhaps for a special pot-luck dinner coming up this weekend in support of the LGBTQ people and their allies.

Romans 1:28 reads (in the New International Version translation), “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”

Rev. Joe Gaspar says, in light of this graffiti, anyone who wants to show support for the church and the LGBTQ community is invited to come out to that pot-luck Saturday at 6 p.m.

He says the vandalism makes him, “Sad and very disappointed… you think that, you know, as a society that you’ve made a lot of progress on LGBTQ rights and inclusion.”

He adds this is a reminder the work needs to continue, especially the work churches need to do.

The grafitti was discovered first thing this morning.

The church has contacted Regional Police.