Metrowest Interfaith Dialogue Project
hollistoninterfaith.org | firstname.lastname@example.org | Holliston, MA
November 17, 2018
Not long ago the news of a fifth-grade child in Hemenway school in Framingham, who was the victim of a hate crime based on her faith and the faith of her family devastated us all. This is an issue that is not new in our country, unfortunately, and one that we of different faith and non-faith traditions need always to be vigilant for.
We pray for this child and her family and all our Muslim neighbors, near and far, who may struggle for acceptance in these fractious times. In many ways this act also symbolizes all of the acts of bias and violence against all those who are Muslim, Jewish, African American, immigrant and others in these recent years particularly.
Last October 27th, we held our first interfaith event at Temple Beth Torah on the very afternoon of the anti-Semitic shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Unexpectedly we moved to Jewish prayers of mourning, and even though the circumstances were quite difficult, the opportunity for our non-Jewish neighbors to support our Jewish friends at such a time was indeed was what neighbors of faith must do.
The attack on this child was not born in a vacuum, but part of a culture of prejudice where hate is learned, even by children. Our commitment to interfaith dialogue is to join others in support to this child and her family, but also to encourage opportunities where peoples of different faith traditions can come together in friendship, seeking common ground and holding our differences together in respect and curiosity.
This is not only a demand of the best of each of our faiths, but this is also the stuff of nation building, starting in our communities.
Shalom | Peace | Salam
Rev. Bonnie Steinroeder – First Congregational Church, Holliston | Fr. Carl Chudy – Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Holliston | Rabbi Steve Edelman-Blank – Temple Beth Torah | Rev. Mark Peterson – Christ the King Lutheran Church, Holliston | Rabbi Jennifer Rudin – Simcha Services, Holliston | Shaheen Aktar – Islamic Society of Boston | Hussam Syed – Islamic Society of Framingham
This is one of many examples of the need for peoples of all faiths to come together, along with our secular brothers and sisters. It is in secular structures that we all can gather equally and consolidate the power to heal the earth that is in all of our hands. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section. What does your faith tradition say to the challenges of global climate change today?