Pride flags vandalised outside Wicker Park Lutheran Church (Instagram/wplc_chicago)
A Chicago church whose Pride flags were vandalised is rallying the community to fill the church garden with “hundreds” of rainbow flags in defiance at the homophobic hate crime.
A LGBT+ Pride flag hanging on the front doors the Wicker Park Lutheran Church in central Chicago was stolen sometime between June 16 and 18. When the church replaced it and added a transgender Pride flag, a vandal spray-painted them with a black ‘X’ and the words: ‘We love kids.’
The LGBT-inclusive church responded by sending a message to its congregation urging them to join them in “an act of loving defiance.”
“Nothing can stop our resolve to live out Christ’s love.”
— Reverend Jason S. Glombicki
Reverend Jason S. Glombicki writes: “We will boldly declare that no spray paint or torn down flag will stop us from proclaiming the gospel message of God’s love to all people.
“Nothing can stop our resolve to live out Christ’s love – not the events of last week, not what may come tomorrow, and not ever.
“So, this Sunday at 10 a.m., I invite you to join me as we gather to sing songs that rebel against a hate-filled world … [and] fill our front garden with hundreds of rainbow flags in an act of loving defiance.”
Glombicki is in his early 30s and his congregation is comprised mainly of 20- and 30-year-old members, many of whom are raising young children. About half a dozen members are part of the LGBT+ community.
His message of Christian faith resonated with the city, and a local children’s theatre camp donated artwork of love to display in the church.
Many in the community have pledged to join the church in hanging LGBT+ flags this weekend, which is when Pride will be celebrated in Chicago. Glombicki estimates around 300 flags will be displayed in the church garden.
“Love continues to permeate our world, even in the midst of hate and fear,” Glombicki told Block Club Chicago. “Our faith in Jesus teaches us that all people are loved and we should treat them as such.”