A Pastoral Message in Support of our Jewish Neighbors

2/24/2023 3:40:00 PM

Dear church,

For many months we have seen an alarming spike in anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim and white supremacist hate. It has been reported that extremist groups are planning a national "Day of Hate" tomorrow, targeting Jews. This evening, as the sun sets and Shabbat begins, our Jewish neighbors are living in fear.

As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors and to be peacemakers. We stand firm in our commitment to love and respect our Jewish neighbors in our local communities and across the nation and globe. We reject as sin and as an affront to the gospel all calls for hatred of the Jewish people and all forms of white supremacy. We are ready to protect and defend Jews, people of other faiths and people of color.

I invite you to consider tonight how you can live out our common calling and commitments. Here are some suggestions:

  • Speak out against this "Day of Hate" as evil and counter to the love and peace we are called to embody.
  • Reach out to your local rabbi or synagogue, as well as your Jewish friends, colleagues and family and offer your support in whatever way they might most appreciate.
  • Post signs in the windows of your home expressing support for the Jewish people.
  • Pray for all people, including those who proclaim hate, that God's love will prevail.  

God, our refuge and strength, you have bound us together in a common life. In the face of hate, help us to accompany one another in love. In this time of danger, be to our Jewish neighbors a guardian and rock of defense. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

In peace,                                                                                                            

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America  

Resource documents:

"A Declaration of the ELCA to the Jewish Community" (adopted 1994, revised 2021)
ELCA social policy resolution "Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric" (2019)

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For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder


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