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Sign Damaged At Church In Westchester

St. John's Episcopal Church in Pleasantville Photo Credit: St. John's Episcopal Church
St. John's Episcopal Church in Pleasantville Photo Credit: St. John's Episcopal Church in Pleasantville
St. John's Episcopal Church in Pleasantville's new sign. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

A church in Westchester was targeted by vandals who damaged a welcome sign.

Vandals cracked the welcome sign outside St. John’s Episcopal Church in Pleasantville overnight on Friday, Jan. 17 splitting the sign right across the “J” in John’s. It comes after several other vandalism incidents at houses of worship in Westchester.

In the past few weeks, a menorah was toppled at Veteran's Field in Yorktown, and vandals damaged two other churches in the area, as well as at the Yorktown Stage, and library. St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Mohegan Lake was also vandalized, as was Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Mount Vernon

Rev. Mary Gregorius, the rector at St. John’s, wrote a letter to the community following the discovery of the cracked signs and shared photos of the damage. (See first two images above.)

“It is with regret and disappointment that I share these pictures of our vandalized sign,” she wrote. “Sometime in the night of (Jan.) 17, 2020, someone decided to take their anger out on our parish sign. It is the abominable act of small minds and insecurity. We are a people who preach the words of Jesus to ‘Fear not.,’ and we will live into those words as we prepare to replace our sign.”

The latest report of vandalism has not yet been declared a hate crime by Pleasantville police investigators. The sign is back up in front of the church after a member of the community volunteered to make repairs. (See third photo above.)

"The recent wave of destruction and defacement aimed at houses of worship, including those that post the rainbow Pride flag and religious symbols, in the Hudson Valley and across our nation cannot be tolerated nor waved away as mindless mischief," State Sen. Pete Harckham said in a statement issued over the weekend.

"I know an investigation is taking place, but it’s time for all of us to come together and determine what needs to be done in order to drive hate from our communities.”

The investigation into the damaged sign and other vandalism incidents are ongoing.

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