April 24, 2018
Life never bores me at Plymouth! Our activities keep going, along with meeting the challenges of being an active congregation in a facility with limitations. Our longstanding desire to be a place which opens its doors and heart to the public also comes with opportunities to rethink building accessibility, function and capability once inside.
Last Sunday evening while many participated in our Earth Day Dance in the Sanctuary, someone became destructive in another part of our building. A dumpster fire was set in the alley across the street, and then our fire alarm was pulled. After the Fire Department arrived to check things out and reset our alarm system, we discovered our first-floor men’s restroom had been vandalized, along with the Library door. The individual responsible was located and asked to leave the building and the Seattle Police Department was called. Once again, as with the previous Sunday’s vandalism of our second floor glass door, the damage was cleaned up, repairs are in process and our work continues.
The events cause us to consider with greater thought and care about facility access during events, how we can keep people and property safe, and how we can continue to reach out with a message of inclusion and gracious welcome to all persons. It appears that the individual responsible for this week’s vandalism was experiencing both mental illness and substance abuse. Total damage for the two vandalism incidents will cost about $1,000. The ongoing reminder, as shared by Rev. Brown last week is, “Perhaps God is waking us to the awareness that discipleship is costly, and that siding with the oppressed, with those most vulnerable, will not be without a price.”
We have already taken steps to explore more significant security and our practices of engagement with individuals in the building. In coming days, we will determine ways to increase our ability to monitor building activity and help all persons feel at ease. I’m grateful to our outstanding building staff for their work, and how they serve with us to make Plymouth Church UCC an open, inclusive and welcoming place while also seeking to keep us “safe and sound.” – Rev. Steven Davis