Thursday, March 3, 2016

Mason City, IA: UCC Church Vandalized for Hosting Gay Men's Choir

I learned today of a UCC church in Mason City, IA, that was vandalized sometime last night for promoting a recent performance by a gay men's chorus:
The vandalism at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 100 First St. N.E., apparently took place overnight or early Thursday morning, according to the Rev. Chuck Kelsey, pastor at the church. He said people reported seeing the spray paint on the sign early Thursday on their way to work. 

The lettering on the sign outside the church was promoting a performance by the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus at the Sunday worship service Feb. 29. The lettering had not been changed following the service.

Kelsey said although something like this wasn't totally unexpected, it was disappointing. "I thought we were past that," he said.

The vandalism has been reported to the Mason City Police Department.

Not surprisingly, comments have been largely anti-gay and anonymous. For example: "The UCC is a totally apostate denomination. Hosting a homosexual choir during a 'worship service' is in line with their beliefs. They'd be more honest calling themselves Unitarians."

First Congregational UCC's pastor, Rev. Kelsey, was a pastor at a start-up church called Journey Church in neighboring Coralville, IA. I wrote about him and that church here, here, and here.

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