By DAVID DUPONT
BG Independent News
The Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation had a full house Sunday morning.
They were a mix of regular congregants, and a lot of visitors who had shown up to support the church as it responded to an act of hatred.
On Tuesday someone stole the church’s rainbow pride flag and mutilated it. The Wood County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident
At noon on Sunday, about 100 people gathered around the flag pole as Andrew Schocket, president of the congregation, raised a new rainbow flag.
The morning message on the congregation message board was “Still We Rise.”
Schocket said that the news of the desecration of the church’s flag had an extra kick given the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the weekend before during a march by Nazis and other white supremacist groups.
The Rev. Lynn Kerr said that in her sermon “I was asking people: don’t sleep through the revolution. The revolution is one of compassion. There’s just too much hate and division, and it only seems to be getting worse. .. We might feel like we’re a small group, but we can’t sit on our hands any more. We’re small, but mighty.”
Kerr said she was grateful for all the visitors at that morning’s service. They had read about the incident and “just came out to support us.”
“It felt wonderful,” Kerr said. “You just don’t always know how they feel about you. That came out today.”
Kerr said she has also received many calls and emails. “The whole community has been very supportive.”
After raising the new rainbow flag, Schocket said that the church now has another rainbow flag in storage, so that if something happens to this one, the congregation will be able to get a new one flying immediately.