Another burglary leaves church members feeling less secure
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
Members of a predominantly gay and lesbian church in Boynton Beach, say they simply want to worship and help others, but once again they find themselves victims of vandalism and crime.
“You should feel safe when you come to church,” said Rev. Wendy Woodruff, pastor of Church of Our Savior Metropolitan Community Church.
“God made you the way you are, God loves you the way you are,” said Rev. Woodruff.
Back in January, someone broke out one of the church’s stained glass windows. The burglar cut themselves getting inside, leaving drops of blood through the building, but took nothing.
Then Thursday night, the same window, this time with a temporary covering, was broken out again.
Rev. Woodruff showed CBS12 on Friday, how when the burglar came through the window, they broke a piano music stand, but again took nothing.
Also in recent weeks: Parishioners found a potentially offensive word painted on the side of an exterior wall, and in the parking lot, congregants say there had been a mugging and a fight, both involving non-church members.
“The first time scared a lot of people, and this one will scare them again,” said Rev. Woodruff. “And that’s really sad.”
CBS12 asked members if the church is being targeted because of who attends here.
“30 years ago, I would’ve said yes,” said Rev. Woodruff. “I don’t think so. I personally don’t think so.”
But it’s at the back of everyone’s minds, especially parishioners who lived through much less hospitable times in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.
“They also remember our MCC churches being firebombed back in the 70s and 80s, and it scares them,” said Rev. Woodruff.
“We are called to love one another, and loving each other doesn’t mean harming each other,” the pastor continued. “I just don’t understand.”
Rev. Woodruff said the church is still waiting on the replacement stained glass window, ordered after the January incident.
The pastor also said the church now has plans to install security cameras, and board members have a meeting next week with Boynton Beach Police’s community service officer.