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



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