An LGBTQ-inclusive church outside of Boston recently became the target of anti-trans hate when, in the middle of the night, someone burned the trans pride flag the church flew on its front lawn.
The United Parish in Brookline, Massachusetts, posted a photo of the charred and shriveled flag on Facebook and declared that “The hate and violence shown on our lawn has no place in the kind of world that Jesus imagined and God created.”
The post also emphasized that all are welcome to worship at the church.
“We at the United Parish in Brookline believe that all people are made in the image of God and embrace and cherish every person and every kind of family. Jesus Christ welcomed everyone; we seek to follow his example in our own life and worship, by extending God’s love and grace abundantly and equally to everyone.”
“We affirm and welcome all people to share in worship, fellowship and leadership with us, to join us in a diversity of race, gender, sexual identity, physical and mental ability, ethnicity and economic means.”
On its website, United Parish calls itself a “vibrant, ecumenical, open and affirming congregation” and displays a photo of the building’s front lawn, featuring the trans pride flag flying above its welcome sign and a line of rainbow Adirondack chairs.
And church’s leaders won’t let the act intimidate them. They plan to replace the flag with an even bigger one, and also make it harder to reach, NBC Boston reports.
“We believe the Christian faith is a progressive faith,” Rev. Kent French, who identifies as queer, told the publication. “That it’s one that’s always looking forward, always looking to include.”
French added that the crime is a reflection of the fact that “people are challenged by difference” and that we are “living in divisive times.”
Those who commented on the Facebook post thanked the Church for “being such a loving place” and for providing “a home that is affirming and celebrates our community.”
Police are reportedly investigating the incident as a hate crime.