“The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God”
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On Saturday, October 27, a gunman entered a synagogue during a service of worship and shot and killed eleven members of the congregation. We are struggling to comprehend these shocking murders, this outrageous desecration of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and these horrible acts of antisemitism and hatred of “other.” The hate-filled rhetoric in our country has fueled this particular kind of cowardly and senseless violence. We are horrified by the murder of eleven loving and generous congregants who were praying and worshipping together. We offer our prayers and condolences to their families and friends, and to our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world.
On Saturday, November 3, at 10 a.m. we will be celebrating the life of Michael Block, our beloved congregation member who died at age 48 on October 8. And on Sunday, we celebrate all of the saints with prayers for those who have died in the last year, as well as the Baptism of one-year old Rylee Alberga. Sorrow and joy mixed together.
The beauty of our profound conversation with the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom from a week ago still resonates. This interfaith conversation with faithful Jewish and Muslim women felt blessed. When we join with others who are different from us and share our beliefs in a loving God with honesty, kindness and openness, something happens that is holy. This must be what heaven is like.
Please read the attached letter from our Diocesan Bishop Andrew ML Dietsche condemning these shootings and reminding us of the power of love. Please pray for those who have died, that they may rest in God’s peace, and continue to spread the Divine Love that you have come to know with this weary and battered world.
With prayers for peace,
The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota