On Wednesday, a vandal scrawled a swastika on the door frame of the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew on 86th Street and West End Avenue. On Monday, the church was covered in colorful signs drawn by community members who rallied to support the congregation.
Signs proclaimed “Love,” “All Are Welcome Here,” “Enter With Singing Praise and Love,” and “Let Peace Lead the Way.”
“Today neighbors and friends are coming by to leave messages of hope and resistance where the swastika had been!” a representative of the church wrote to us on Monday. Children and adults posted the signs to the outside of the church, setting up a table outside with markers and stationery.
On Sunday, Rev. Vicki Flippin spoke about dealing with the defacement of the church:
“In these acts of creation, move within us. Take what was meant for evil and turn it into an opportunity for good. As we wash away the defilements, let us use the moment, not to feel fear or bitterness toward others. Let not this defilement turn us toward defilement. Instead, let us use this moment to be even more loving to one another, to create with you a better world, to pray for our enemies, to redefine our neighbor, to welcome the stranger, and to aid those in the path of the storm. Consecrate our efforts this day. Amen.”
Police are looking for the culprit or culprits, and have asked people to contact them if they have information.
If you have information on the defacing of Beth Hachasidim DePolen downtown or Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew on the UWS, call the NYPD.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) August 25, 2017
Top photo by Barbara Migdal. Other photos via the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew.
Correction: We initially misstated the date of the vandalism. It was Wednesday, not Friday.