(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