Our hearts break at the news of yet another mass shooting in a house of worship on Oct. 27. An intruder entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, murdering 11 worshipers and wounding six others, including four police officers. The killer made his motive clear, “I just want to kill Jews.” This was the deadliest act of violence against Jews in our nation’s history.
As faith leaders in the community, we stand in solidarity with our Jewish sisters and brothers, especially our local community of Bet Shira, as we condemn anti-Semitism in any and all forms. Hatred and violence, of any kind, cannot be tolerated. We, as a country, are better than this. An attack on one portion of God’s family is an attack on us all. We stand with all people of faith to claim the right to worship in safety and security, without fear of violence or reprisal. We cannot remain silent in the face of such atrocities.
It is for all of us to recommit to lifting up and affirming the worth and dignity of every human being regardless of race, gender identity, immigration status or faith tradition.
Words are important. We denounce all attempts to dehumanize anyone, any group, any community. Such attempts to dehumanize diminishes the humanity of all.
Virtually all faiths share a common tenet of “Love Thy Neighbor,” and we pledge to live out that tenet. Through our own words and actions, we seek to build bridges and nourish caring, supportive, respectful communities.
We invite the wider community to recommit to that essential promise.
Rev. Coe Hutchison
Grace Lutheran Church
Rev. Dianne Andrews
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Paul Heins
First Presbyterian Church
Rev. Kate Lore
Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Pastor Collette Pekar
Port Townsend Seventh-day Adventist
Rev. Ron McClung
Peace Lutheran Fellowship
Rev. David Eekhoff
Presbyterian Counseling Center of Port Townsend
Pastor Scott W. Rosekrans
Community United Methodist Church, Port Hadlock
Sarah McMahan, M.A.
Rev. Skip Cadorette
First Baptist Church
Rev. Tony Brown
Trinity United Methodist Church