In two separate incidents, new signage at the Church of the Ascension (Anglican Church of Canada) has been vandalized. We are concerned the vandalism is an act motivated by intolerance towards the LGBTQ community.
Each side of the church sign features a decal of the rainbow fish symbol. This symbol is intended to show that the Church of the Ascension welcomes all people, irrespective of their sexual orientation. Two weeks ago someone damaged one of the decals. It was hoped this was simply a random act of vandalism. However, on Saturday, January 14th, one decal was completely removed and left on the ground and the other decal was damaged. It was clearly an intentional act of vandalism.
Over the last five years the parish has striven to be a place that is open and inviting to everyone. The Ascension community has made a public statement that it welcomes everyone who has ever felt excluded by the Church or their community because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental challenges, financial resources or family status. The rainbow fish is an important symbol of who we are as a Christian community and a reminder that emphasizes God’s grace and reconciliation with all people.
The parish considers that these acts of vandalism, while minor in terms of dollar value, are a significant demonstration of intolerance and hatred. We will replace the fish as many times as necessary. God is calling us to welcome all people without exception and without qualification to be a part of the life of this community. That includes LGBTQ community. Those who want to insist we be less welcoming should speak directly with us. In the meantime, we’ll continue to warmly welcome all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental challenges, financial resources or family status.