— "I'm upset, but I'm glad that no one was in the office at the time this happened," said the Rev. Phyllis Haynes, pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Narrowsburg, N.Y.
A break-in took place between the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 19 and early morning on Thursday, Sept. 20, at the church on Erie Avenue.
Thieves left the church office in disarray and made their way into a locked room where valuable communion ware was stored.
The thieves stole four silver chalices, one silver plate (paten), one silver pitcher with a hinged lid (flagon) and one ciborium (shorter chalice-shaped vessel with a separate lid which holds the communion wafers).
"One of the chalices was engraved with Latin words around the rim. The lid on the matching ciborium had a cross-shaped handle. Both had yellow decoration around their stems," said Pastor Haynes.
Church members at St. Paul's receive communion on a weekly basis at its Saturday evening and Sunday morning worship services.
For now, Pastor Haynes will be distributing communion with vessels borrowed from nearby churches.
"I am really annoyed that someone would break into the church and steal communion ware," said the pastor, "but it is wonderful how our neighbors are stepping in to help us."
If you have any information regarding the break-in, please contact the New York State Police and St. Paul's Church (845-252-3919).