Dear Rabbi Jeffrey Myers and the People of Tree of Life Synagogue,
We, the people of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwich Port, Massachusetts, send our deep condolences to you this week following the loss of eleven of your members in a violent attack at your Sabbath Services last weekend. As we read the news about the people in your congregation who were lost in that attack we are so sad thinking about how each one of them was cherished by their families and by all of you. Each one was a light to the world, a light from God. As you bury your friends who, no doubt, have become like family, we hold your community in prayer.
As we consider the loss this violent attack has left we will re-double our efforts to work for peace in our world, and to work harder in our own community to combat the insidious but pervasive forces of antisemitism. We recognize that this sin of antisemitism is a sad legacy which our churches have perpetuated all too often. We need to work hard to build more bridges and to challenge persecution of Jewish people. As people of faith we owe a great debt to Judaism and the way Jewish ideals about God have shaped our faith and Jewish ideals of justice have shaped our nation and culture. We hope that in this moment we can help in this small way to communicate to your congregation that you have support and friendship from other congregations near and far.
At the end of our worship services we have a habit of joining hands and singing together a folk song, Let There Be Peace on Earth. The first line says “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” We believe it is our responsibility to work for peace in our community and in the wider world.
May God be with you, each one.
Rev. Susan Cartmell and Pilgrim Congregational Church