Tidewater Community Interfaith Gathering
We have gathered here today to commemorate lives well lived and cut short at the hands of an evil hearted bigot.
The Tree of Life Synagogue has been a symbol of hope in a dark and evil world. May the lives that died there last Shabbat germinate a more robust commitment in all of us to fight more intensely against incivility and out-right evil.
We are living in a time when indecent disparagement of historically marginalized people is normalized at a high level.
Now is the time for the faith community to build bridges of moral conscience, irresistible courage to love, and an indelible hope that, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “we will (STILL) be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony.” Jesus taught us that together we stand and divided we fall.
We cannot allow another tragedy rooted in intolerance to be a lethargic moment in history. They are happening frequently, and the bond of the nation is disintegrating before our eyes.
The Jewish Massacre in Pittsburgh must not fade into distant memory and become another footnote in history.
We must “GET WOKE!” The ghosts from the past are haunting our nation in this generation. The time of apathy has past. Every American citizen should join in the movement of togetherness; loathe all forms of hate and violence that lurk in the shadows of the nation.
The future we leave for the children and future generations depends on what we do about this today!
The blood of those who were slaughtered at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, last Shabbat is crying out to us. It is our task, our duty, our obligation to speak on behalf of those who cannot speak up for themselves.
May the God of our fathers embolden and empower us to remain vigilant – not by power, not by might but by the Spirit of our God.
All this has come upon us,
yet we have not forgotten you,
or been false to your covenant.
Our heart has not turned back,
nor have our steps departed from your way,
yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,
and covered us with deep darkness.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
or spread out our hands to a strange god,
would not God discover this?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
Because of you we are being killed all day long,
and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
Awake, do not cast us off forever!
Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For we sink down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up, come to our help.
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.