Fear and hatred will not have last word

Print Article

Tragically, we recently witnessed the horror of senseless violence and death, the murders that took place at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We responded with painful grief, sorrow and love for the victims, their families and the Jewish community.

Weekly we enter our own individual sanctuaries for an experience that is healthy and healing. The sanctuary is a place of worship of God. It is a place of safety. We are horrified to witness sanctuaries and houses of worship being desecrated by bloodshed.

As spiritual leaders representing many different denominations and traditions, we have gathered monthly in the Flathead to learn from our differences, share our spiritual journeys, and support each other in the challenges of leading our individual congregations. We gather as an intentionally diverse group of leaders who come from Christian, Jewish, and Indigenous spiritual traditions.

Our gathering began after neo-Nazis and white supremacists threatened the Glacier Jewish Community with anti-Semitic, hate-filled rhetoric and public threats at the end of 2016. Because there was no voice speaking from the Christian community against this barbaric rhetoric, this group of spiritual leaders decided to meet monthly to learn from one another so that we could build strong relationships and strengthen the faith community of the Flathead Valley.

We grieve the murders of 11 members of the Tree of Life Synagogue and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured congregants and first-responders. We pray for the grieving families, the community, the city of Pittsburgh, and our beloved country where this sort of violence is anathema to our values as spiritual people and Americans.

We condemn, in the strongest sentiment, anti-Semitism, hatred and violence as expressed in this latest incident. Anti-Semitism, and any form of attack on any group of human beings, has no place in our spiritual communities. We believe fear and hatred will not have the last word. Our communities are built to practice the hospitality of love and promote the vast diversity God provides our world.

We pray for healing and pledge to take action by speaking out against violence in our community, hatred of the other, and intimidation of our neighbors. We pledge to join together to build upon our valley’s diversity with grace and the integrity of our faith. We grieve this horrible loss in the Jewish community. May we all be strengthened as we pray for forgiveness and work for peace in our community and in our nation.

Rev. Morie Adams-Griffin, Whitefish United Methodist Church; Rev. Jeny Running Brook Covill, Co-Pastor, All Nations Fellowship, Columbia Falls; Rev. Peter Erickson, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (ELCA), Columbia Falls; Rev. Dan Heskett, Northridge Lutheran Church (ELCA), Kalispell; Rev. Jeryl Hollinger, Mountain View Mennonite Church, Kalispell; Rev. Jason Johnston, The Nazarene Community Church of Whitefish; Sr.Judy Lund, St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, Kalispell; Rev. Miriam Mauritzen, Community Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Kalispell; Rev. David H. Rommereim, Retired Lutheran Clergy (ELCA), Whitefish; Rabbi Francine Roston, Glacier Jewish Community/B’nai Shalom serving the Flathead Valley; Rabbi Allen Secher, Retired Reform Rabbi, Whitefish; Rev. Dawn Skerritt, Columbia Falls United Methodist Church

Rev. Scott Thompson, Bethlehlem Lutheran Church (ELCA), Kalispell; Rev. Mary Wellemeyer, Unitarian Universalist Consulting Minister, Columbia Falls; Rev. Andy Wendle, Eidsvold Lutheran Church (ELCA), Somers; and Rev. Steven Yurosko, Rector St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Polson.

Print Article

Read More

Legals June 19, 2019

June 19, 2019 at 5:00 am | No. 2494 LEGALS AD: Upper Whitefish Road Commercial Lease The Montana DNRC, Stillwater Unit, has received a proposal from Northwest Montana Adventures LLC for development of a commercial lease for ye...

Read More

Whitefish Bike Park opens top-to-bottom biking trails

June 18, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Whitefish Pilot While the mountain biking season started at lower elevations in the Whitefish Bike Park earlier this month, stoke was up high last weekend with top-to-bottom trails opening. The Whitefish Bike Park ...

Comments

Read More

New shop offers high-quality, custom gifts

June 18, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Whitefish Pilot At Axehead, customization is key. The new high-quality leatherware and merchandise store on Baker Avenue offers a variety of products, like whiskey or beer-based gift boxes, hand-sewn wallets, hats,...

Comments

Read More

Peterman service

June 18, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Whitefish Pilot Three Peterman family members will be laid to rest Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m. at the Adventure Church at 348 2nd Ave West in Kalispell. Pastor Bob Ross will officiate with internment at Glacier Mem...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 862-3505
312 E. Second Street
Whitefish, MT 59937

©2019 Whitefish Pilot Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X