This letter first appeared in the weekly church newsletter for The Community Church of Wilmette. You can watch the service of healing and comfort at Sukkat Shalom on Facebook here.
Thank you to all who attended worship at Sukkat Shalom this past Monday and to those who have continued to keep our community and nation in prayer. From the tragedies at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last Saturday, the African-American man and woman murdered at Kroger in Louisville because of the color of their skin, and the package bombs mailed to political opponents across the country, last week was heartbreaking and a reminder the danger of hatred, violence, and prejudice in our country.
As people of faith, we know that violence and hatred is not God’s plan for our communities. While some people are playing on our divisions and fears for political power, the Creation stories call us together as one people, created in the image of God. All people have worth and are loved unconditionally - no matter age, race, religion, socioeconomic status, country of origin, disability, gender, and sexual orientation. God calls us to love our neighbor.
On Monday night I read a reading by rabbi and liturgist Chaim Stern. His words are a reminder that we have an opportunity to live a path that provides hope to our communities:
When evil darkens our world, let us be the bearers of light.
When fists are clenched in self-righteous rage, let our hands be open for the sake of peace.
When injustice slams doors on the ill, the poor, the old, and the stranger, let us pry the doors open.
Join me in continuing to pray for our communities and in seeking out patterns that help us embody the peace, righteousness, and love of God.
As Stern writes, "In the places where no one acts like a human being, let us bring courage; let us bring compassion; let us bring humanity."