Kitchener-Waterloo·Feature

LGBTQ-friendly Waterloo church turns hateful graffiti into mural

Parkminster United Church turned graffiti that was meant to attack their LGBTQ-friendly stance into a component of their new mural that celebrates inclusiveness.

'There's still more need for conversations to happen,' says church minister

Members of the Parkminster United Church in Waterloo found graffiti at their doorsteps last week. They suspected it may be due to their advertisement of a potluck which invited LGBTQ communities and allies. (Joe Gaspar)

Parkminster United Church in Waterloo, On.t turned graffiti that was meant to attack their LGBTQ-friendly stance into a component of their new mural that celebrates inclusiveness.

The graffiti found on the doorstep was meant to attack their LGBTQ-friendly stance, but is now part of a mural that celebrates inclusiveness at the church.

Kandace Boos, a local artist who is part of the Stirling Mennonite Church in Kitchener, designed the mural which incorporates part of the graffiti into the artwork. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
A week after Parkminster United Church was hit with graffiti which seemed to oppose their LGBTQ-friendly stance, members of the church and friends gathered to repurpose the graffiti into something positive. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
Volunteers from the community began to show up shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday to help with the painting. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
Gaspar, left, said this year is the church's 11th year of being an official LGBTQ-friendly congregation. Heather Power, also a minister at the church, said she hopes the mural will show people that the church is still an inclusive and affirming place. "Even when bad things happen, the good can come together and there's amazing things that can happen," said Power. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
The mural uses rainbow colours to reflect the church's LGBTQ-friendly stance. (Courtesy of Joe Gaspar)

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