Roseville responds to homophobic vandalism with grace, creativity
Roseville Uniting Church has moved to create a banner to cover homophobic graffiti the church received in response to its message of welcome for Pride.
Rev. Dr Chris Goringe recalled that the idea for the banner came from the congregation.
“A member of the congregation suggested that she and her kids could create a temporary sign that would be more welcoming than a big blank space,” he said.
When others heard the suggestion they were keen to be involved, so the congregation member brought a blank banner, paint, and markers along to a service the next Sunday.
“Everyone was invited to make their mark on it,” Rev. Dr Goringe said.
Asked by Insights what message he hoped the sign might convey, he said it was largely, “just the same message that we’ve always wanted the sign to convey – that we believe the love and welcome of Jesus Christ is for everyone, so everyone is welcome at Roseville Uniting Church.”
“I also hope that anyone who knew that the sign had been vandalised might take the message that God’s welcome is bigger than acts of violence,” Rev. Dr Goringe said.
“And as for whoever did the damage to the sign – I’d love it if they took the message that the offer of welcome includes them, that God’s welcome is big enough to hold whatever pain or anger they were expressing in this act of violence.”
Roseville is not the only church coming up with a creative solution to anti-LGBT vandalism. Pitt Street Uniting Church also recently had to quickly repaint their church’s rainbow steps after a group of unidentified men vandalised them.