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.

Port Townsend

Rev. Skip Cadorette

First Baptist Church

Rev. Tony Brown

Trinity United Methodist Church

(1) comment

Tom Parks

I too support our community in this time.
But moving forward, there are things that can done to help us have a much safer, and peaceful neighborhood.
Ban the proposed gun ranges. It's just that simple.
More guns = more gun violence!
More gun ranges = more young people trained to use assault weapons
on communities. It's happening all over the USA, and it will happen here.
The Parkland school shooter, to name just one, trained at his local gun range, received counsel and training from the range's operators, and once trained, he went to the high school and opened fire. It's a national issue and it will be a local issue if we are not pro-active. Continue the Blue wave and ban gun ranges.
The diversion dialog of not having enough places to train LEO's is junk.
There are over 20 gun ranges within a 50 mile radius. We do not need any more.

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