Our Prayers Implicate Our ActionInterfaith Candlelight Service of Peace and Fellowship - A response to the recent anti-Semitic and other faith-related violence in our country

Sunday, January 5, 2020—5 pm

Congregation Beth Torah
720 W Lookout Dr, Richardson, Texas 75080

I helped to plan this service of the Richardson Interfaith Alliance, but could not attend since I am still recovering from hip surgery. I am grateful to St. Luke's member, past President and active RIA member, Shirley Sigler who read this statement on my behalf!

Thank you all so much for coming. I was so disturbed, as we all were, at the violent, anti-Semitic attacks in New York during Hanukkah. I messaged my dear friend, Rabbi Elana expressing my grief and anger at these actions, along with my friendship and support. At the same time, I felt like my words were inadequate, having done this several times since we had met.

While the prayers and positive thoughts of others are comforting at times of distress, crisis, and violence, and they are an important part of my Christian tradition, we are called to more. The motto of the Lutheran denomination is “God’s work, Our hands.” Our prayers are not an end in themselves, but they implicate us in taking action, so that we participate with God in helping make those prayers a reality. “God’s work. Our hands.”

Today is a first step in taking peaceful action in 2020—to put our bodies where our thoughts and prayers are. When one suffers, we all suffer, and the gift of the Richardson Interfaith Alliance is to keep us ever mindful that we are one humanity. I envision Richardson as not just a place of tolerance—but a city where we learn from each other, celebrate our gifts, and build a stronger community through sharing our religious traditions, and cultural practices.

I encourage each of us to take a second step tonight in being a peacemaker and commit to building at least one new relationship in 2020 with someone of a different faith or culture. Become a bridge-builder and bring others with you—doing holy work with our hands, putting our bodies where our prayers lead us, and ensuring that no one suffers alone. Thank you!