AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – The Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship replaced a church sign on June 13, 2021 that was stolen off the front lawn a few months ago. The sign promotes messages like “Love is Love” and “Black Lives Matter”.
Reverend Chris Rothbauer, the Lead Minister at Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, felt like having the sign stolen was violating. They said they felt like someone was telling the church that their values were not welcomed in Auburn.
“We’re here for the long term. We believe in our values strongly and we believe our values should be a way to bring us together because our values are that everyone matters,” said Rothbauer.
Rothbauer said the members of the congregation intended to have the sign replaced immediately after it was stolen. However, the church lacked the funds to do so at the time. Through donations and a fundraiser, the replacement was made possible five months later.
The sign was hung with more security to prevent it being stolen once again. Rothbauer said the church intends to continue replacing the sign if it continues to get stolen.
Board President of the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, CJ Marbutt, said he was not surprised when the first sign was stolen because of the location of the church. He hopes to remind people that the congregation is available to everyone regardless of their beliefs.
“There is a lot of people here of a lot of different beliefs and a lot of different values and we welcome all of them. There has got to be a place for everybody,” said Marbutt.
Rothbauer hopes that the church can move forward with a sense of community and belonging. He also hopes that the values the church shares can help unite people.