Statement from Grand Traverse Area Clergy on Recent Acts of Violence

October 30, 2018 Contact: Rev. Jody Betten (616) 706-3549 We join together as an interfaith community of leaders to share in the profound grief provoked by the attack on Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that took the lives of eleven Jews gathered for Sabbath worship and wounded several others, including first responders. Together, we cry out with the voice of the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted, because they were not.” (31:14) And, we take comfort in the prophet’s words of reassurance: “The Lord has appeared to me, far away, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have remained true to you.’” (31:2) Together, we are also profoundly affected by the recent spate of bomb material sent to leaders across the United States and we mourn the lives of Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones, murdered in Kentucky by a white supremacist. Together, we grieve all instances of daily violence and discrimination faced by members of the wider American community. Together, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and wider communities of the departed and offer prayers for quick and complete healing for the wounded. Together, we exhort ourselves and all who share a vision of a peaceful, diverse, just, and compassionate American society, to redouble our efforts at reconciliation and recommit ourselves to upholding our country’s highest ideals and aspirations. Signed in love and solidarity (alphabetically) – Rabbi Chava Bahle Rev. Jody Betten Rev. Paul Busekist Rev. Kathryn Costas Rev. Phil Garrison Rev. Patricia Haas Rev. Chris Lane Rev. Jane Lippert Rev. Robin Long Carden Rev. Jose Lopez Rev. Melissa Lopez Rev. William Myers Rev. Dale Ostema Rev. MaryBeth Robertson Rev. Kathy Snedeker Rev. Eileen Stulak Rev. Jeremy Wicks Rev. Jared Yaple