Earlier this month the marquee in front of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Mason City, Iowa was vandalized by someone thought to be expressing themselves about the performers.
Wrote the church’s pastor, Chuck Kelsey, on its Facebook page:
Sometime last night (Wednesday) the church marquee at the corner of First and Delaware was vandalized. No other damage was done. It is my intention to leave the sign as it is for a week or two and add a sign that would say “We believe that God’s Love wins.”
I would be happy to hear from any one on your reflections of how we can respond out of an understanding of Christian love.
The Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus also responded:
Yesterday, someone spray painted over the sign in front of the First Congregational UCC in Mason City, Iowa that advertised our appearance at the church this past weekend. There were no words or vile messaging other than an attempt to cover our appearance announcement. The rest of the sign is fine and there was no other vandalism to the property.
Our Executive Director Jeff Heine talked to Pastor Chuck at First Congregational UCC to offer the support of the Chorus and our community.
We can all learn from how First Congregational UCC responded to this act of vandalism with the authenticity of their welcoming nature, with respect for all parties involved, and yes, even with some joy as this incident affirmed why they wanted us to visit and perform last Sunday.
The act was the result of one or more individuals that do not represent the feelings of Mason City.
At the heart of anger and hate is ignorance and fear. This incident does not tarnish our experiences last weekend in Mason City. It reminds us that we do not have to travel too far from home to build community with music.
There are no suspects in the vandalism.
Kelsey was interviewed by local news station KIMT: