Church Forgives Burglar Who Stole $1,000 of Food, Electronics: 'Next Time Stay for Worship'

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(Photo: KJRH Screenshot)East Side Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma used their church sign to invite a burglar to "stay for the service" the next time he or she came dropped by.

An Oklahoma church which was burglarized last month has responded to the incident with humor and forgiveness.

Despite the fact that the thief or thieves left with close to $1,000 worth of equipment and electronics, the church updated its sign on the street outside to read: "DEAR BURGLAR NEXT TIME PLEASE STAY FOR WORSHIP."

Church staff arrived on Sunday, Sept. 22 to find computer equipment missing and the church's pantry and kitchen raided. Some equipment and food were found in trash cans.

Church leaders told KJRH that they gladly would have provided the food to the thief if it he or she had simply asked.

"We have so many people that come in everyday that we give food to anyway, so if it was someone hungry they could have easily stopped by and we would have been glad to give them the food that they needed, but they felt like they needed to break in, in the middle of the night and try to take everything," said U'Ren.

Food that the thief did not manage to take had since spoiled.

The church put up the sign both to inform neighbors about the incident but also to let the thief know that he or she is forgiven and that the church was there to be a resource to help the individual if needed.

"A sign of forgiveness, because we would rather him come to worship and if he needed help to ask for help, if we can give it or point him in the right direction of the help that he needs," said U'Ren.