Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church, in Odenton, MD, is reacting to an act of vandalism and hate with love. The Church has announced a demonstration to support anti-racism protests and work after an unknown person tore down two anti-racism banners installed on Church property fronting Piney Orchard Parkway.
Sometime in the early afternoon of Wednesday, July 29,2020 someone tore down two signs in front of the Church . One, read “Dismantle Racism: Join us in the Conversation” and had been on place since 2016. The other, “Black Lives Matter: Join us in the Conversation” was installed in early July of this year. The Church has held various anti-racism screenings, discussions and book study groups since 2014.
To answer, the Church will hold a peaceful demonstration to support Black Lives Matter and stand against racism at 4:30 pm Thursday, July 30 in front of the Church at 8424 Piney Orchard Blvd. Attendance is RSVP, as outdoor events are limited to 50 people.
Supporters who would like to attend are asked to park in the Church parking lot and walk to the Church’s property that fronts Piney Orchard Parkway, and to wear a shirt and bring signs to support anti-racism work. This will be a static demonstration rooted in the faith-based message of equality and justice. We will respond to unkind gestures with waves and smiles and prayers for peace.
“All people are created in the image of God and have the spark of God inside of them. Not all people have been treated like they are children of God, and that’s why we’re supporting our black and brown brothers and sisters,” said Tim Stern, Lead Pastor of Ark and Dove. “They can dismantle our sign, but Ark and Dove members will continue to do the work of dismantling racism. Our Church leaders known as the Session has been clear, that with the peace and love of Christ as our guide, we will be a community that lives out justice and love for all people so that lives are transformed and God’s dream is carried into the world.”
Two signs with similar inclusive messages at the home of Pastor Stern were stolen this week as well. The sings were placed on Monday of this week and on early Wednesday they were missing. A police report has been filed for that incident as well.
The Church has held worship services entirely online since the beginning of the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order, but staffs the office during the week. Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church is located at 8424 Piney Orchard Parkway in Odenton.