The United Church is profoundly saddened and outraged
at the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue.
~ from The United Church Website, published on October 29th and modified on October 31st
May the families and friends of those who were killed or injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue find strength in the days ahead as they grieve the unbearable loss of their loved ones or tend to the physical and psychological wounds of those who survived.
In the days ahead, may civic and political leaders rise above calls for retribution and blame and echo the wisdom and grace being demonstrated by so many from communities near and far responding with sympathy, support and solidarity to this attack.
In Bearing Faithful Witness, a statement made in 2003, The United Church of Canada affirmed our common calling with Jews and others to align ourselves with God’s world-mending work, and encouraged all people in our church to be vigilant in resisting antisemitism and anti-Judaism in church and society. We continue to affirm those commitments and to remind our members that we need to cultivate love, understanding, and acceptance of each other, rather than giving in to fears that provide fertile ground for hate and extremism to flourish.
We offer our prayers that together we may build a world where all are treated with dignity and respect. May you be strengthened and blessed as you minister with those so deeply wounded by this attack, and may God’s healing love be with your community in the days ahead.
Oh, God, your children cry out,
and cry out, to you.
We pray for your people
of Tree of Life congregation,
for those who are waiting,
for those who are grieving,
for those who have died
because of senseless hatred
of your people, Israel;
may they find healing in your love,
and support from the community.
May any who have been part of this killing
be found quickly, and held accountable
for what they have done.
Help us, God of all creation,
to challenge the rhetoric that fans the hatred,
especially the interpretations of Christian scripture
that equate “Jewish” and “evil”;
help us, God of all love,
to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms.
We pray to you, The Name,
as disciples of Jesus,
as people filled with your love.
—A prayer for the victims and survivors of the attack on Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh, by the Right Rev. Richard Bott. Originally posted on Facebook. Moderator Bott encourages the sharing of prayers he posts throughout his term.