Disciples and UCC: An open letter to our Jewish colleagues and friends
Leadership of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ offered an open letter to Jewish colleagues and friends today to offer solidarity and support in the wake of the many bomb threats of the past couple of weeks at Jewish centers and institutions in the US. The full text of the letter is below.
“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.
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon, Acting Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries [UCC]
Rev. Dr. Ron Degges, President, Disciples Home Missions [Disciples}
Rev. Dr. James Moos, Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries [UCC]
Rev. Julia Brown Karimu, President, Division of Overseas Ministries [Disciples}
Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations [UCC]
Rev. Paul Tche, President Council on Christian Unity [Disciples}