As the world turns towards spring, new growth, and Easter, I find that first we must process and act on the very real grief, sorrow and fear that the March 15th mass shootings at two Mosques in Christchurch, NZ, have raised in our hearts.
In conversations with study groups, I’ve discussed what I should write to our neighbors in Farmington Hills at the Muslim Community Mosque (12 Mile Road, our partners in Crossroads and SOS), the Tawheed Center (10 Mile Road) and Anjuman-e-Najmi Mosque (Orchard Lake just north of 8 Mile). Here is what I will be saying to them:
The people of North Church affirm in our values statement that we seek God’s truths in many places. This has long informed our engagement in interfaith activities and interfaith friendship. In the wake of the recent mass shootings in New Zealand, we say to you, our friends and neighbors, that we are heartbroken and outraged at the dehumanizing mind-set that allows such actions to take place, and we grieve with our Muslim brothers and sisters over this horrific loss.
We want you to know that you are not alone, that we are with you even when it seems many are against you. Remembering that we are all children of Abraham, we deplore anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish rhetoric and actions when-ever and wherever they occur. Trusting in God, we sit with you now in your grief, and will stand with you as we act together against hatred and the voices that insist that interfaith relationships cannot be authentic.
Please know that you are always welcome at North Church, and that we look forward to the many ways that we may serve God and humanity together.
Faithfully, Rev. Dr. Mary E. Biedron
Our Lenten Theme
"The Challenge of Love"
God's love is freely offered to us. We are always blessed by God. These are teachings of Jesus that we know all too well--and that challenge us all too often. During Lent, a season of self-examination and returning to the light of God's love, we will explore the times when it is difficult to be loving towards others (and ourselves!), the times when God seems silent, and the times when we do not feel blessed or beloved. These concepts will be taken up in sermons and in two study sessions that allow for a deeper conversation on broken spirits and broken relationships that prevent us from living and loving as God wishes, and the ways in which the teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus can open our hearts to love and grace despite the challenges of our broken world.