Letter: Thanks for encouragement, hope during troubled times

From: The Rev. Kelsey Hutto

Bean Blossom

Words of encouragement and offers of help have been pouring into St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom as we reaffirm our ministry of welcome to all. The church is decorated with hundreds of messages of support that have come in from Brown County and surrounding communities, and from Facebook and emails from across the country and as far away as England, Australia and New Zealand after the church was vandalized recently.

Those of us arriving for services Sunday, Nov. 13, were greeted by spray-painted symbols that historically represent hate, separation and violence toward specific religious groups and minorities. The swastika, the gay slur, the infamous title worn by Adolf Hitler screamed at us from the worst abuse of human rights, dignity of all people and mass murder perpetrated in the 20th century. No one could miss the dark message delivered under cover of darkness.

Thank you to our friends and neighbors who joined us at our Nov. 16 service, packing the church with your voices of support as we heal from the vandalism and plan for the safe and rewarding future.

Thank you to the more than 40 of you who have offered equipment, money and labor to remove the hate symbols and restore the church. We are blessed by your offers and your hugs. Thank you to all who took time to visit or send thoughtful messages of encouragement and hope in troubled times, especially members of area churches and our Bean Blossom neighbors. We are blessed by your caring.

We will leave the symbols on display until Wednesday for all to look at and reflect on the atmosphere in this country that leads to hateful acts. You’re welcome to stop in any time. Then we will turn our efforts toward creating county events and gatherings where we encourage unity within diversity, goodness and love instead of hate, conversation and sharing stories instead of slander, and making Brown County and Indiana a safe and peaceful place to live, work, play and worship. If you would like to be a part of the event during which we remove the graffiti from the walls, it will be 5 p.m. Wednesday. Please look for news on the community concert that will be offered in an effort to promote community relationships.