Dear Partners in Mission:
On Saturday January 15, 2022 the rabbi and 3 leaders of Congegation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX were taken hostage by an armed assailant. Many of us, particularly those who have gotten to know Rabbi Charlie, watched in shock and anxiety as the situation played out over the course of the next 11 hours. We are thankful that the Rabbi and leaders escaped this event physically unharmed. But the trauma that was experienced by them, and by extension other communities, will not quickly vanish. I join with Presiding Bishop Eaton in sharing the statement of the “Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign” regarding this event. Religious based violence, particularly anti-Semitism continues to be a reality in our world and must be condemned and actively resisted.
Resisting and working against hatred and violence is core to who we are as people of faith and particularly as Lutheran Christians. God in Christ has given us all we need and our call then is to actively care for and seek the well being of our neighbor. I pray that our communities will continue to be places of hospitality and welcome, always aware however of taking needed precautions to ensure we keep those in our care safe. Know my office stands ready to assist you in this work.
May God bless you all this week in your work. A reminder that Synod Assembly (April 29-30th) registration will be going live soon. Please make plans at your annual meeting for those you will send to the assembly. We have significant business to attend to, including the election of a synod treasurer and a bishop. While I have indicated my willingness to serve another term in this office, we will have an election. I am thankful for Rick Bidne for agreeing to chair the election team. Victoria Flood from the ELCA Churchwide office will be our guest and preside over the election proceedings.
Please note it will be in-person at King of Glory, Dallas due to scheduling changes by Paul Quinn College, our original hosts. Precautions will be taken to ensure it is as safe an event as possible. Masks and other requirements will be determined when we are closer to the event and in communication with King of Glory staff and Dallas County health officials.
In Christ’s Peace: