We are saddened and angered by the news of yet another crime committed against humanity and the single most violent terrorist attack against Jewish Americans in the history of the United States. As members of the Faith in Texas Clergy Steering Committee, we firmly stand against anti-Semitism, and acts of violence and hatred.
We mourn with the entire Jewish community. In addition to the eleven lives lost at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we grieve the two Black Americans who were killed in the Kentucky grocery store shooting. Enough is enough! We are tired of planning funerals for family members taken from us by violence.
We must stand up and speak out against those that believe the appropriate response to their fears is to take the life of another. We read in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” We can no longer tolerate elected officials who sow animosity and pander to corporations while avoiding common sense laws that would prevent deadly weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Ending gun violence in our country is a responsibility that we all must bear. That so little has been done to protect our communities is a disgrace and a moral failure.
Some elected officials tell us we must “protect” our borders from immigrants under the guise of safety, yet have ignored the fact that most of the terror plaguing our nation is the result of homegrown injustice, greed, and racism. For too long, White Christian supremacy has masqueraded as faith. Supremacy has no place in faith, for all people are created in the image of God and are inherently worthy of equality, dignity, and care.
Isaiah 60:18 reads, “No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.” We stand in unity with all people of faith and good will who affirm that we are better and stronger together. We recognize that the sweeping change our nation so desperately needs starts with us. We are people of resilient faith and we will not be deterred in our struggle to disarm hate.
This Shabbat will be a continental Solidarity Shabbat with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. At synagogues, community centers and homes across the country, we will come together as one people in prayer, compassion and unity. If you are in the DFW area, you can find more information via our partner congregations Temple Emanu-El and Beth El Binah. Or, find solidarity in an area near you.
On behalf of Faith in Texas, we commit to the entire Jewish community, and all those affected by terror and violence, that you will have more than our thoughts and prayers. You will have our hands to help rebuild, our feet to walk alongside you, and our votes to create change in every arena of power. Shalom.
Faith in Texas Clergy Steering Committee
Rev. Manda Adams, Pastor, First Community Church UCC
Rev. Dr. Mike Gregg, Pastor, Royal Lane Baptist Church
Rabbi Kimberly Herzog Cohen, Temple Emanu-El
Dr. Ray Jordan, Pastor, Central Congregational UCC
Rev. Dr. Jaime Kowlessar, Senior Pastor, City Temple SDA