On Sunday night, someone broke into the church offices with a pry-bar, breaking the window out of its frame. Somehow, our alarm system had not been set and didn’t alert us of the break in. The vandal pulled drawers out and dumped them, emptied the contents of closets and cabinets onto the floor, dumped a two- gallon drinking water container over everything and defecated in both offices. The mess was quite impressive.
The police responded and found several latent fingerprints. If the culprit is in the legal system, they could be caught, but it will take time. It could have been worse. The fireproof file cabinet with all our parish records was locked and was not disturbed. All our computers were at home because we are working remotely during the pandemic, so we will hardly notice the disruption.
What does this mean for us as a congregation? We will clean up the mess. We will file another claim with our insurance to replace the broken and soiled items. We have hired a professional cleaning company to clean and sanitize the space and we will have to replace the carpets. A locksmith has already changed the keys to all the entrances to the church (your key won’t work anymore, so you’ll need a new one. We’ll be getting those out as quickly as possible.) We were already in the process of upgrading our security systems to include better monitoring and video systems, and that has become a higher priority. We’ll have to replace the windows that were broken.
Then, we will say prayers and maybe burn some incense to pray away evil and spiritually cleanse the space. And throughout, we will carry on doing God’s work of love and reconciliation.
Honestly, the silver lining in this is that we needed new carpeting in the office anyway. The new floors, new office chairs, and deep cleaning will give us a much nicer space to return to when the pandemic lifts and we are finally able to return to working in the office together.
We have suffered a number of disruptions in the past year, but none of them will stop the love of God that flows to us and through us for the blessing of the world. We will continue to feed people, care for one another, and worship together (online) on Sundays.