A Letter to the Editor of The Post and Courier:
Thank you to Mayor John Tecklenburg, Rabbi Yossi Refson, and the organizers of the candlelight vigil that our community shared Sunday to show our solidarity with the Jewish community after the massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
We gathered at the Holocaust Memorial at Marion Square and walked to Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church. The location bore witness to the reality of violence and evil, as well as the resilience of the human spirit. As darkness fell at the end of the day, the light of our candles bore witness to our conviction that the darkness of hate will never extinguish the light of love.
Mayor Tecklenburg spoke with conviction and passion as he called for unity, compassion, and love. The other speakers shared his conviction and empathy for the suffering of our Jewish brothers and sisters.
As Presbyterian pastors, along with members of our congregations, we came to show our love for our Jewish friends and our solidarity with them in this painful time.
While we were there to show our support for them, the rabbis and leaders of the Jewish community who spoke did so with clarity and insight, humility and courage. We want to express our gratitude for their leadership and strength and to affirm that we stand with them. We invite our neighbors to join us in praying for healing and peace.
As many speakers testified at the candlelight vigil, love will overcome hate when we are united in caring for and honoring one another. In this critical time for our country, as Election Day fast approaches, instead of our politics reinforcing the walls that divide us, may we lift our voices and renew our commitment to loving one another.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church