Bonnie Bates, the Conference Minister of the Penn Northeast Conference UCC, recently wrote this in a national call–to action:

“The news over the past weeks has revealed an undercurrent of hate within our culture and our country. Between the assumption that immigrants walking nearly 2,000 miles seeking asylum are seen as a threat to our security; the pipe bombs mailed to those who oppose our current political administration; the massacre of 11 Jewish citizens during services at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh; and the shooting of an African American man and woman in a grocery store after a failed attempt to enter a church of Black worshippers, it is hard to find cause for hope in our nation.

“The rhetoric of hate and divisiveness calls for a response from the faith community. While as a church we should not advocate for candidates or political parties, we must advocate for justice, humanitarian treatment of our neighbors, and for safety in our places of worship. We are a diverse nation and until recently that diversity has been seen as a strength. We, in the Church, must stand as moral authorities proclaiming peace and hope, compassion and justice.”

Confronted with so much hate, it’s hard to know how to respond as a community of faith. This morning, we are inviting you to begin in a small, loving and tangible way by writing a note of prayer or compassion to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and/or to our neighbors and friends at Moses Montefiore Synagogue here in Appleton. You will find cards already addressed to these congregations on the table in the narthex. You are invited to fill in your own words of prayer and loving concern. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Your friend and fellow minister, Rev. Steve Savides

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