Holy Trinity Lutheran Church put the rainbow heart logo on its sign a few years ago. It was never a problem until a hole appeared in the middle of the panel.
The Holy Lutheran Church repaired the gap in two days. Pastor Erik Goehner says it was a way of reassuring members of the LGBTQ community.
“That’s how it is, that’s what they’ve been up against for generations, isn’t it?” said Goehner.
Church Council President Krister Swanson was one of the first to spot the large hole in the middle of the panel. He believes the vandal struck between 9 and 10 a.m. Saturday.
“Someone came and applied some kind of force to the center of the logo,” Swanson said.
Inside the sign, where light bulbs illuminate it at night, the rainbow-colored heart symbol was damaged but intact.
“We try to be a place where you can feel safe, where you can feel God’s love for who you are,” Goehner said.
Pastor Goehner and temporary pastor Amanda Berg wanted to have the sign repaired right away. They wanted LGBTQ members and their families to know that the church would not let vandalism negate its message of inclusivity. They also wanted to send a message to whoever did it.
The incident prompted people to post messages of alarm and support.
“I’m really scared of what’s going on…” said one.
“It’s heartbreaking. We’re so much better than that,” said another.
“We actually received donations, wanting to help pay for the repair of the sign,” Berg said.
A woman made a temporary sign with rainbow colors and a big heart in the middle, which still stands today.
The message on the back reads, “All are welcome here. You are loved. You matter.”