Dear Rabbi Leder:
The hearts of all of us at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles are broken over the events that took place in a Pittsburgh synagogue this past weekend. Yesterday in our worship service we lit candles in honor of all the victims of that senseless massacre. To say we are sorry is not nearly enough.
Wilshire Boulevard Temple is our dear neighbor. (Less than a mile from our church.) We love what you are doing in this community. The recent restoration of your beautiful temple and your commitment to serving our neighborhood inspires us. You personally have been a guest in our church, and you will be a guest in our church again.
There’s a long and ugly history of anti-Jewish thinking embedded in the Christian faith, but I am here to say that we reject all forms of it. We believe that there is a way to be Christian without a hint of anti-Jewish thought or feeling or practice. Moreover, our love for Judaism is essential to our Christian faith.
I’m writing simply to say that we are one with your community today. We are one in our grief. We are one in our hope for a better Los Angeles. Indeed, we are one in hoping for a better America. We are one in honoring the call to love our neighbor as ourselves. And we are one in our commitment to love justice and mercy and to walk humbly with God.
In these times of great challenge, let’s remind one another, my dear colleague, that we are not alone. You are not alone. I am with you. And Wilshire Boulevard Temple is not alone, because our church is a true friend and neighbor. We stand with you in these perilous times.
Rev. R. Scott Colglazier, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles