Dialogika

An open letter to our Jewish colleagues and friends

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” –Isaiah 54:10 An open letter to our Jewish colleagues and friends January 20, 2017 It is with great concern and outrage that we have learned these past few days of the spate of bomb threats that American Jewish community centers and institutions have received. In the past two weeks, more than 40 bomb threats in several states across the country have been reported. We deplore these terrible acts that have incited fear in children and adults, disrupted a variety of activities, business, work, and life, and are abhorrent expressions of anti-Semitism and religious intolerance.

We recognize that we are living in a time of increased division and fear in our country. Even so, bigotry, discrimination, and hateful rhetoric and actions have no place. As people of faith, we are called not only to preach God’s justice and vision for shalom, but to live it out. Such threats, whether acted upon or not, have no place in the world we imagine possible, and that the prophets call God’s people to seek. Our understanding of the Biblical concept of shalom is expansive, connoting peace and justice, harmony and right relationship among peoples, and safety and welfare for the community of God’s children. When any of those is disrupted, when any of the human community experiences pain or fear, it affects us all. We stand with you.

In this time of heightened tension, we recall the greatest commandments, from Deuteronomy and Leviticus, to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We extend to you our open hand of solidarity and support, and reaffirm our pledge and commitment to stand against intolerance, particularly anti-Semitism.

We hold you in prayer, yearn with you for the day when none shall be persecuted, and work for the time when all will enjoy God’s peace and justice.

For the United Church of Christ    
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President    
Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon, Acting Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries    
Rev. Dr. James Moos, Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries    
Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations    
     
For the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the USA and Canada    
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President    
Rev. Dr. Ron Degges, President, Disciples Home Missions    
Rev. Julia Brown Karimu, President, Division of Overseas Ministries    
Rev. Paul Tche, President, Council on Christian Unity