Albuquerque church shares message of acceptance despite recent vandalism
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rev. Brett Mitchell is relatively new to La Mesa Presbyterian Church.
“It’s never a boring worship service,” Rev. Mitchell said. “This neighborhood, the International District, is a melting pot.”
Rev. Mitchell is one of only a few gay Presbyterian pastors in New Mexico. He says at La Mesa Presbyterian, all are welcome.
Right now, the church is filling up with clothing donations for their Feast of Hope to help their neighbors this Thanksgiving.
“This is an act of taking the gospel to the streets,” he said.
However, a flag at the corner of their parking lot was recently ripped down by someone. The flag said, “Abide no hatred.” They also painted “Romans 1:18-32.”
“They weaponized that verse in order to spew hate,” Rev. Mitchell said.
He notes the irony of vandalizing a message of anti-hate. He says that Romans verse is often used against the LGBTQ community.
“If you continue to cherry pick – as one way of reading the Bible – then you’re going to miss out on a lot of good stuff that’s in the scriptures,” Rev. Mitchell said.
“I told my partner, we should just leave it and put the sign over it,” said Tim West, who made the sign less than a month ago. “So they don’t have to do twice the work next time.”
The vandalism is not getting them down, though. They say they have a place in their heart for whoever did this.
“Here, love wins. And that’s our message to the world,” Rev. Mitchell said.
La Mesa Presbyterian says they were one of the first churches conducting gay weddings in the country. They plan to continue leading the way with acceptance.
For now, they’re focused on feeding the hungry and getting warm clothes to people that need them with their Feast of Hope this week. For more information, click here.