“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love”
—1 John 4: 7-8
This past week our Sunday School families along with friends and people from the neighbourhood have been decorating the church sidewalks at Westminster with colorful chalk art and beautiful messages of God’s love.
Along with it being a great way to bring some joy into our lives right now, this initiative comes in response to the many sad and distressing things that have taken place in our world recently including the vandalism that happened early on May 10 to three United Church buildings in Saskatoon that were targeted with hurtful and hateful homophobic graffiti. Thankfully, the individual responsible for these crimes was arrested, but given that he has a history of this type of behavior, the day after his court appearance and subsequent release, three more Saskatoon churches (Anglican and Unitarian) plus the city police station were targeted again in the same way.
But here is the good news: love always wins! As word got out about the vandalism, good people responded by coming together to clean up the sites and offer their support to the church communities involved. And then, when some chalk showed up, young and old, began to fill the sidewalks in and around the affected churches with healing messages of encouragement and hope.
And so, in solidarity with those who have been traumatized by the actions of this broken individual and those who continue to be victimized by hatred and homophobia we invite you to join us here in Humboldt to fill as much space as possible with messages of love instead of hate and images of hope instead of despair.
I am sure this is not the response the perpetrator had in mind when he did what he did. Clearly he needs the support of a community to care for him and love him back into a healthy relationship with God and others. As we fill the world with Love and kindness, we pray that he will find the help he needs. And we pray especially that those who have been targeted and victimized by his actions will find reassurance and strength in knowing they are not alone.
You are invited to place your “Creations of Love” near your home or at the church. If you need sidewalk chalk, please stop by during church office hours: Tuesday to Thursday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. or Friday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.. We have a large bucket of chalk we would be happy to share with you!
“Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
—1 John 4: 11-12