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Congregation comes together to clean up after vandals ransack Raleigh church

December 22, 2018

As many churches are putting the final touches on their pews for Christmas service, one Raleigh church is picking up the broken pieces after someone broke in and ransacked the place.

Tom Harris, an associate pastor St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, said he is still processing the vandalism, but the damage has turned into a story of a congregation banding together.

“As I look at just pieces of broken glass on the floor and broken tables, I’m struck by the reality that God meets us in our brokenness,” Harris said.

As members at St. Andrews entered the sanctuary Friday afternoon, they were met by a lot that had been broken.

“I got a phone call from our facilities manager this afternoon that the church had been vandalized,” Harris said. “You see our drum sets are turned over, our communion table where we celebrate, our sacrament is turned upside down.”

To the people responsible for the vandalism, members of the congregation extend grace and forgiveness.

“Maybe they’ll see this and want to know and maybe they will know that they are loved,” Harris said.

At first, it seem perhaps the vandals had succeeded in marring the upcoming Christmas celebration, but a congregation made of grit, faith and goodwill is not easily broken.

“We’re working to clean and to get ourselves ready for worship Sunday morning,” Harris said. “It’s where we come to find God, to experience peace, and that’s going to happen Sunday morning.”

Raleigh police are investigating the vandalism, but church leaders said there were no surveillance cameras.

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