The Common Table is an Oregon, Inter-faith Commnion. Bp. Dave Brauer-Rieke is a part of this group on behalf of the Oregon Synod.
Today all people of faith across Oregon join the wider world in grieving the loss of 49 people murdered in two different mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. It breaks our hearts that such hate and deliberate violence would strike out at a worship, where so many had gathered in the most intimate and vulnerable acts of prayer. We join our brothers and sisters around the globe in prayer today, even as we recognize that prayer alone is not enough. The white supremacy that gave rise to this violence must be named, and even though this shooting happened on the other side of our planet, we must now see how this is a symptom of a much deeper spiritual sickness that threatens us all.
So in the midst of our grief let us not be blinded to the work that now confronts us. The work of hatred and violence must be met with compassion and understanding, and the deep desire to heal and rebuild our broken communities. Acts of murder must be matched by acts of friend-making, not just with those who look like we do or worship like we do, but with all our brothers and sisters regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Here in Oregon we have the highest number of hate crimes in the country per capita, and so the need for this work is especially great.