Newsletter October 30, 2018

Presiding Bishop’s statement on Tree of Life tragedy
October 27, 2018

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has issued the following statement:

Dear Friends,

I’m here in Des Moines, Iowa at the convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. It’s Saturday, and several hours ago you learned, as did we all, that a gunman entered Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. A number of people have been killed and wounded. Our Jewish neighbors, our brothers and sisters, are fearful and we must stand with them and provide comfort and support for them and for all. It is reported that the gunman not only ranted anti-Semitic sayings, he has also ranted and spoken against immigrants and refugees and other peoples.

We must pray, we must pray for him, we must pray for the spirit of our nation, that a spirit of love and compassion and goodness and decency would pervade, and that spirits of hatred and bigotry would be cast away. But, above all, at this time, pray for those who have died and for their families and their loved ones. Pray for those who are wounded. Pray for the first responders, pray for our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community. Pray for the Tree of Life synagogue. Pray for the City of Pittsburgh. Pray for America. Pray for us all.

And then, go out and do something. Do something that helps to end the long night and helps to bring in the daylight. Visit a neighbor. Remind our Jewish brothers and sisters that they do not stand alone. Care for someone. Love. Stand for what is right and good. Then pray. And then act.

And pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

God love you. God bless you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.

The Most Rev. Michael Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

On the web:
Presiding Bishop’s statement on Tree of Life tragedy

(Credit for the content and formatting of this announcement goes to the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs.)

Bruce Walsh: IU Alum Visits Campus and Canterbury

Last week, Bruce Walsh, who studied playwriting for two year in the IU Theater Department, visited campus and Canterbury House last week. Bruce, now living in Pennsylvania, sat in the Chapel as he recalled how much he loved the Chapel for its beauty and intimate worship space. Bruce was in Indianapolis for several days for the staged presentation of one of his plays at a local theater. In this process, playwrights were in attendance and participated in discussion about the plays after each reading.

October 29th : Memorial Gathering for the Victims of the Pittsburgh Massacre at the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center

Several hundred IU students, staff and faculty, and a sprinkling of people from Bloomington attended the service for 11 individuals who were murdered because they were Jewish. On Saturday, a man shot to death: Joyce Feinberg, age 75; Rich Gotfried, age 65; Rose Malinger, age 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, age 66; Cecil Rosenthal, age 59; David Rosenthal, age 54; Bernice Simon, age 84; Sylvan Simon, age 86; Daniel Stein, Age 71; Melvin Wax, age 88, and Irving Youngner, age 69. During the Memorial Gathering, several religious leaders, two Hillel students from Pittsburgh, IU President Michael McRobbie and two IU staff people spoke. Hooshier, the Hillel choir, sang.

The following are excerpts from Rabbi Sue Silberberg’s reflection:

Three horrific acts of terror happened this week: a cowardly terrorist sent 14 bombs to several prominent Democrats – including the Obamas, the Clintons, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and philanthropist George Soros –and CNN. Two African Americans were shot in a store in Louisville after the shooter was unable to enter a Black Church. And, finally the horrible attack by the terrorist who entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh who reportedly shouted, “All Jews need to die” before he opened fire.

Tonight, we thank the first responders, the police, fire department, EMT, hospital personnel, and the entire Pittsburgh community. We mourn with the families who have lost their loved ones and stand together with the entire Pittsburgh Jewish community. There are not words to adequately express the deep pain that we all feel. We mourn whenever someone is murdered. However, today our hearts are with the members of the Tree of Life synagogue and the greater Pittsburgh Jewish community. And so we mourn for those who were murdered and those affected by this horrific hate crime.

Saturday’s attack had the fingerprints of the while supremacist ideology that continues to go unchallenged and even openly endorsed by some of our highest elected officials. The language of incitement, antisemitism, and white nationalism cannot become our new normal. How dare he, the shooter?! How dare he enter a sanctuary – from the Hebrew work mikdash with the root kdesh – holiness, meaning holiness/sanctification of life – and do anything but bless and sanctify our Creator and all life? In a sanctuary, we praise life and what it symbolizes:

1.Love for the Jewish people and love for all people.
2.Love for gay, lesbian, transgender people and anyone who feels marginalized.
3.Love for the immigrant.
4.Love for the hungry.
5.Love for the sad.
6.Love for the haughty and the heartbroken.
7.Love for life.

In Pittsburgh, the community is rallying together to reclaim the sanctification of life. Christians, Muslims, and people of many faith traditions are standing together. The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh has raised $70,000 for the Tree of Life Synagogue; Muslims also stepped forward to help protect and guard the synagogue. Two recurring themes of the inter-faith community in Pittsburgh are to pass on acts of kindness and a call to register to vote to eliminate violence and hate.

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