September 7, 2017

FUSE joins Interfaith Council Condemning Racism and Bigotry

(The Interfaith Council of Southern Delaware County provides a forum for interfaith dialogue on matters of mutual concern.  It is our mission to cultivate relationships of trust and solidarity among religious leaders in order to enable a public witness that draws upon our deepest religious values.)

This letter was published in the Delco Times, http://www.delcotimes.com/opinion/20170905/another-view-interfaith-council-makes-its-stand-against-hate

The Interfaith Council of Southern Delaware County adds our collective voice to those who have condemned the racism and bigotry promoted by the KKK, neo-Nazis, and all other alt-right groups. As we look back on the horrible violence in Charlottesville, and ahead to the upcoming 16th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11, we publicly reaffirm our commitment to our Council’s mission: We stand for mutual trust, active dialogue, and above all the celebration of our different religious traditions. As a coalition of leaders and community members across faith traditions, we profess that all our traditions are rooted in love and solidarity with each other as neighbors. We are different. We know that. We lean into it, because we have learned that diversity is a gift.

We also know that fear can be a strong motivator. It can be weaponized into hate, violence, and oppression; something that is all too real in our communities and in our world today. The Interfaith Council strives to be a public witness, and to inspire others to join us. We must stand united. Anti-Semitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, hate towards the LGBTQ community, and all forms of racism are abhorrent to us and to the faith traditions we represent. We encourage all who read this to reach beyond your own boundaries, seek out difference, and refuse to let the messages of fear and violence fester. We are leaning into a commitment towards love and understanding; lean with us.

Rev. Sukja Bang, Swarthmore United Methodist Church

Deacon Beth Barkhau, Reformation Lutheran Church Media, PA

Reverend Marcie Brozyna, Philadelphia Presbytery

Rev. Jennifer L. Casey, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Wallingford

Mary E. Chollet, Director of Ministry, St. John Chrysostom Parish

John Fedock, representing Swarthmore Buddhadharma Group

Rev. Jonathan Fettig, Senior Pastor, Media Presbyterian Church

Rev. Peter A. Friedrichs, Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County

Rev. Alina S. Gayeuski, Reformation Lutheran Church, Media

Rabbi Jeremy Gerber, Congregation Ohev Shalom

Rev. William L.B. Gray, Sr., Wesley A.M.E. Church.

Rev. Edward J Hallinan, St John Chrysostom Church

Jennifer Karsten, Executive Director of Pendle Hill Quaker Center

Rev. François Lacroix, Wallingford Presbyterian Church. Moderator, Interfaith Council of Southern Delaware County

Rev. Wayne A. Matthias-Long, Reformation Lutheran Church, Media

Venerable Amy Miller, Touring Teacher, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition

Rabbi Kelilah Miller, Cantor and Education Director, Congregation Ohev Shalom

William J. Oberfield, MD, Member of Providence Friends Meeting

Mary Lou Parker, Swarthmore Friends Meeting (Quaker)

Rev. Nikki Perrine Passante, Associate Pastor, Media Presbyterian Church.

Rabbi Linda Potemken, Congregation Beth Israel of Media

Rev. Sarah Cooper Searight, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church

Rev. Dr. Joyce U Tompkins, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life and Interfaith Center, Swarthmore College. Priest Associate, Trinity Episcopal Church, Swarthmore

Rev. Joyce Shin, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church