30 October 2018
Dear Members of the Episcopal Church in Central Pennsylvania,
I write today to invite your compassion and action in the aftermath of Saturday’s deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
In these past days, I have written to the rabbis and congregation members of synagogues, temples and Jewish Community Centers in the major cities of our diocese, and in my own town of Mechanicsburg, to let them know of our prayers as they mourn. I have written, on our collective behalf, to decry the sin of anti-Semitism and to affirm the power of a compassionate and loving God whose justice and peace will have the final word against evil. In my letters, I also noted the release from the Bishops United Against Gun Violence which said, in part: “we will not remain silent while violence permeates our nation. Mass murder cannot be tolerated or normalized. Guns cannot be readily available to extremists who espouse hateful violence. Religious diversity cannot fall victim to extremists.” www.bishopsagainstgunviolence.org
I encourage you to join with me in supporting our brothers and sisters in faith by reaching out to the synagogue or temple in your town to offer words of condolence. Please contact your local Jewish congregation or attend a peace vigil in your neighborhood. As we follow the One who told us to “love our neighbors as ourselves,” I pray that we will take this opportunity to extend kindness and love in the darkness of loss, that God’s light may shine through us and bring hope for the days ahead.
With gratitude for you and for our God whose love heals all wounds,
I am your servant in the Way of Love,