The Natick Area Interfaith Clergy stands together in grief for the 11 innocent people who were killed as they gathered for worship in their sanctuary at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh, and the six others who were wounded. We are appalled at this worst instance of anti-Semitic violence in the history of our nation. We extend comfort to the mourners, and to our Jewish brothers and sisters who feel a heightened level of insecurity. This vile act did not occur in a vacuum. Its perpetrator was encouraged by the rhetoric of hatred that has divided our nation and that increasingly spills over into violence.
We mourn that two more African Americans were murdered by a white supremacist in a grocery store after his attempt to attack a black church was thwarted. We are alarmed by the repeated attempts to bomb media representatives and political leaders and critics of the policies of the current administration. These murders and attacks are only a few of the recent incidents in the dramatic rise in anti-Semitic, racist and political violence.
We are concerned that the values that knit our communities and nation together have been undermined by the escalating language of intolerance. Diversity is not a threat; it is our strength. As people of faith we reject the politics of fear and bigotry. We commit ourselves to “do justice and love kindness” at a time when it seems that there is little respect for those principles.
We call upon all our MetroWest neighbors to speak up and speak out against the rhetoric of intolerance that threatens to tear our communities and our country apart. To be silent about the values that are at the heart of who we are as people of faith is to allow evil to prevail. The challenge that we face is great, but to draw on the ancient Rabbinic words of the Sayings of the Fathers, “It is not ours to finish the work, neither are we free to walk away from it.”
The Natick Area Interfaith Clergy
Father Michael Alfano, Natick Catholic Community
Rabbi Jordi Schuster Battis, Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland
The Rev. Rebecca Bourret, Christ Lutheran Church, Natick
The Rev. Gale Davis., St. Paul‘s Episcopal Church, Natick
Pastor Alecia Reeves Freeman, Fisk Memorial United Methodist Church, Natick
The Rev. Joseph Gallick, Rector, Annunciation Orthodox Church, Natick
The Rev. Victoria Alford Guest, First Congregational Church in Natick
The Rev. John F. Hudson, Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ, Sherborn
Rabbi Daniel Liben, Temple Israel, Natick
The Rev. Eric Markman, Hartford Street Presbyterian Church, Natick
Father Michael MacEwan, Natick Catholic Community
The Rev. Ian Mevorach, Common Street Spiritual Center, Natick
Cantor Ken Richmond, Temple Israel, Natick
The Rev. Adam Tierney-Eliot, Eliot Church, South Natick
The Rev. Chris Visminas, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Natick
The Rev. Dr. John Weagraff, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Worcester