Maple Grove church vandalized a third time

Maple Grove police are looking for vandals after the Pilgrim United Church of Christ was targeted for a third time last Sunday.

"They actually handcuffed the doors of the church shut, so we couldn't get in," said church member Steve Hepokoski, who has Pilgrim United Church of Christ for 25 years. "There's never been this kind of destruction."

In two of the cases, vandals wrote graffiti referencing Sodom and Gomorrah bible verses that could be construed as being anti–gay.

"It just seems as a twisted way to use the bible to us," said Hepokoski.

Church members say Pilgrim United Church of Christ has an open and affirming policy of anyone, including same-sex couples.

"Sometimes I think we're referred to as the gay church because we are accepting of GBLT people."

Maple Grove police believe the church may have been targeted for that reason.

"It is a bias-motivated crime that we are investigating," said Maple Grove Police Capt. Keith Terlinden.

Meanwhile, members of the church say they are doing what God told them to do.

"They're forgiven, we forgave them right away. and if they do it again, we'll forgive them again. I wish they wouldn't do it."

Sonya Goins, reporting  

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


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