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From Your Minister

There are times when it is so clear that we need one another.

And this is one of those times.

Like so many of you, my heart is breaking over the violence erupting in the Middle East.

The senseless violence of the terrorist attacks leaves me reeling. The reality of what so many people are enduring in the military response is unfathomable. We hold in our hearts everyone who is suffering so far away.

Children and parents, elders and babies.

The violence being enacted is unspeakably cruel.

And for everyone in our church and broader community suffering as this unfolds, know I am here.

Know that your community is here.

We will gather this Thursday at 6:30 for our Vespers service, which will speak to this. We will

gather in quiet and the sacred embrace of our community to be held in song.

And then again, on Sunday, we will gather at 9:00 and 11:00 for our services, which will also speak to this complex knot of causes and circumstances, especially of the pain and suffering that so many of us are feeling.

Unspeakable suffering can inspire feelings of helplessness. We cannot end this tragedy on our own, but we can stand with our Jewish neighbors and friends who are especially reeling. We also stand with Muslim and Palestinian neighbors and friends who are reeling.

It is my great joy to report that we, alongside both UCC churches and Belmont’s Methodist

church, were already at work to make clear our commitment to combat antisemitism and hate in our community. Your hardworking Parish Board unanimously agreed to join this effort at our last meeting.

As soon as the sign makers can make it, we will all be putting up a sign that reads “Stand Up To Jewish Hate.” The sign in the picture above is already in front of the synagogue, which ours will match. For months, there has been an effort in the Belmont Religious Council to make public our solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors, and this is only even more important now, as they are feeling the pain of this moment even more.

And it is important, especially now, to hold simultaneously our condemnation of the terrorist

attacks and our care and compassion for Muslim and Jewish communities.

And for all of us, know that in moments like these, all of our own suffering and trauma can be activated.

If you need any support, do not hesitate to reach out. Sophia and I are here for you.

And come to vespers, come to Sunday services. Your community is here for you.

We are made for times such as these.

The powerful love at our core is made for times such as these.

This love can hold the complexity and nuance of this situation and the ocean of suffering surrounding it.

Know that you are held in this love.

Know that your community is here.

So much love to you all,



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