March 28, 2019

Below are a few examples of our Evergreen Family responding to the terror attacks in New Zealand:

First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City: Our hearts are breaking for our Muslim brothers and sisters in the wake of the massacre in New Zealand. We stand together, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, etc., against this hate.

Queen Anne Baptist Church, Seattle: We grieve with our Muslim neighbors and are in solidarity with the Muslim community after the horrific terrorist attack at mosques in New Zealand. As people of faith, we pray for all to have freedom, peace, and safety in their place of worship.

First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA shares these words: Join us in prayer for the families and communities of the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings. We pray for Muslims all over the world, that they feel the love of others on this tragic day and know they do not stand alone.

Seattle First Baptist Church: We love and support our Muslim neighbors. As a community of people striving to follow the way of Jesus, we condemn the tragic violence against the Muslim community in New Zealand. We mourn with our Muslim siblings. As a community in the Christian tradition, we recognize the long history of violence against Muslims in our God’s name, and we condemn it. Let us rededicate ourselves each day to working together towards a world where all are free from fear and characterized by justice and celebration of all people and all religious traditions.

Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland, CA: On Thursday many of us from the faith communities of Alameda County gathered for a meal and discussion of important topics of at the Muslim Community Center in Pleasanton. It was a beautiful time of unity and hope. Last night the news came of the attacks on the mosques in New Zealand.

Psalm 56:1 Be merciful to me, O God, because I am under attack; my enemies persecute me all the time.

As witnessed by these acts of terror, the attacks do come. As we pray for the grieving let us also work for the day when we lay our hate aside, put weapons down and the fear of attack becomes unfounded.

Shell Ridge Community Church, Walnut Creek, CA: In response to the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday, March 15, we offer our deepest sorrow and personal horror. At least 49 people were murdered in the shooting with dozens more hospitalized. We also express our condemnation of violent and destructive actions motivated by racism and religious bigotry. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers in the face of this tragedy, as we continue to stand with our Jewish sisters and brothers following the murders in Pittsburgh less than six months ago, and our African-American sisters and brothers murdered while praying in church in South Carolina before that. This is a time to be bold witnesses. We recognize and respond to God’s call in the gospel of Jesus to explicitly and unequivocally speak against the irrational fear-mongering and hate campaigns leveled against ethnic and religious minorities. Such perspectives are irreconcilable with fostering a just and sustainable humanity. We understand and believe that our human differences and diversity are a source of great strength and potential. May this violence elicit our peaceful protest and solidarity.

First Baptist Church, Berkeley, CA: At First Baptist Church of Berkeley this Sunday, we will pray with our Muslim sisters and brothers: “Khudaya, rahem kar” (Have mercy on us, Lord.)

Peace,

Jim H.

(Thanks to all who have been planning the celebration of my 30th anniversary as your pastor. I am looking forward to March 31st.)