Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This week I have been grieving for those directly affected by the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and I have been grieving for all of us who have been touched by this evil. I hope that you will find ways to reach out to our Jewish neighbors and friends in the midst of this painful and frightening time.
I am encouraged to hear reports of our members in Pittsburgh who have responded in love, and I am thankful to those churches around our Province who are planning to join local synagogues this Friday night in a show of solidarity. I want to commend the #ShowUpForShabbat initiative for your consideration.
Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath and it begins at sunset on Friday night and runs until sunset on Saturday night. This is an opportunity to do something tangible and supportive; meeting at local synagogues and letting our neighbors know that they are not alone.
David Harris, one of the organizers, has put it this way: “The community of conscience must stand as one, whether in the face of the hate-motivated attack against a black church in Charleston, which took nine lives, or a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which took 11 lives. We are determined to ensure that love triumphs over hate, good over evil, unity over division. That’s our America.”
You can learn more at:
Please consider joining, but also please be mindful and sensitive to the dynamics in your local area. Some Jewish communities may be thankful for the public show of support, and others may be nervous at having unfamiliar faces at the synagogue on Friday. Both reactions are understandable, so as the organizers suggest, “please reach out to a member of the Synagogue or the Synagogue staff in order to assure that the Synagogue is able to accommodate your desire to attend.”
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America