The message below was sent today from Chuck Treadwell, rector of St. David’s Episcopal Church, to his congregation as the parish prepares on the occasion of Austin hosting the General Convention. Westboro Baptist Church is sadly known as a hate group that has staged demonstrations different places around the U.S.
As you all know, we have the great joy of hosting General Convention this week and next. We anticipate having a lot of visitors at St. David’s, particularly at our worship services on Sunday, July 8. We have recently learned that we are attracting some other visitors who take exception to who we are and what we do.
Westboro Baptist Church has invited people to protest at St. David’s on Sunday morning. Their website says they will be here from 8:30-9 a.m., but we don’t know for sure. In preparation for this, we are asking you to do a few things:
- Please avoid the surface lot. Please park in the parking garage. We will have attendants here to help you get in and out, and there are handicap spots on every floor.
- Please do not engage the protesters. They are professionals at this twisted work and are known for trying to illicit angry and violent responses and then suing people. So please simply ignore them.
- Come to church and bear witness to the God of love, in whom there is no darkness or hatred, and pray for a change of heart for those who spread hate in God’s name.
We will have extra security and two off-duty Sheriff’s Deputies on campus to make sure everyone plays well with others. I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!