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Responding to graffiti with consideration

Responding to graffiti with consideration

Grace Episcopal Church in Randolph, NY found scrawled graffiti on the side of its church: “can I still get to heaven if I kill myself”.

Their virtual response on Facebook response:

Despite the inappropriateness of the forum, the message of despair and the theological question are very real. After a time of consideration, the Rector and Wardens decided that this question needed a visible and public response, and so this morning Grace Episcopal Church boldly proclaims that GOD LOVES YOU WITH NO EXCEPTIONS! Our prayer is that this message will ripple out into our community and set people’s hearts on fire with the truth of the Good News

…included this new photo of their church:


Elizabeth Drescher looks at “Vandalism as Conversation-Starter” in Religion Dispatches:

The Rev. Thomas Broad and wardens of Grace Episcopal Church in the rural hamlet of Randolph, New York engaged in a remarkable act of social media ministry this week.

I learned about this on Facebook, when the photo above was posted on the church’s page. But this digital post is not the act of social media ministry to which I refer. Rather, I’m talking about the small parish’s decision to recognize the church building itself as a communication medium.

She then continues to look at the actual quote, likely a music lyric, along with the church’s decision on how to go forward.


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James Mikolajczyk

I really doubt whoever wrote it was really suicidal. It looks like a prank, either by a skeptic, or some mischievous teens.


Is anyone concerned that the answer might be seen as encouraging suicide? It seems a little glib from here. The questioner (assuming it was something more than quoting a song) was dealing with an objection to suicide, not inquiring about God’s love for themself.

Bill Dilworth

Matty Zaradich

Well done, Grace.

I pray that peace and healing comes to the question’s author.

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