Brothers and Sisters,
It is time for us to pray, preach, and denounce hatred.
97-year-old Rose Mallinger and ten others were shot and killed during Shabbat workshop at the Tree of Life Jewish Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Saturday morning, October 27, 2018.
Earlier last week, two black senior citizens were shot and killed at a grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky. Sadly, it is reported the gunman had attempted to enter a black church in search of African Americans to shoot.
Furthermore, fourteen pipe bombs were mailed to numerous persons, including two former U.S. Presidents, by a man, who many could describe as filled with hatred and political animus, prompting him to define certain people, including postal workers, as deserving of potential serious injury or death.
While the bombs did not explode, fear and hatred has exploded and continues to ripple. We see and experience it in rhetoric, and in subtle, and often, not so subtle ways.
“Racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, or hatred of anyone with different beliefs has no place in the human mind or heart.” – Billy Graham
Most United Methodists would say that they embrace a Judeo-Christian history, ethic, and identity.
By this, I mean we read and embrace the Old and New Testaments, a respect and belief in covenant with one God, our Creator. We believe in human dignity; and that no people or religious group should be vilified or targeted for hatred and violence.
While some people find it easy to identify others as opponents, enemies, or less than, this is not our way.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims all trace their religious roots to Abraham, and all of these groups are under the threat of violence in different parts of the world.
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love – so you can’t know him if you don’t love. – 1 John 4:7-8 (MSG)
Bishop Julius C. Trimble
The following event is an opportunity for us to come together in support of our Jewish communities and all people of faith, as we continue to see all the people within our midst;
Interfaith Service of Healing and Unity
In Response to the Attack on the Jewish Community in Pittsburgh
Monday, October 29, 2018