We have all heard yesterday's terrible news from Pittsburgh, where a gunman, fueled by hate and rage, murdered eleven people in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
All of the faith communities in Armonk are brothers and sisters together - we are all children of God. I and my fellow clergy have been in close contact throughout yesterday and today to offer our love and prayerful support to each other and especially to Congregation B'Nai Yisrael (CBY) here in Armonk.
In my sermon yesterday morning, I spoke of the measures that CBY has had to take over the past few months to ensure the safety of their congregants. Yesterday's attack in Pittsburgh has, of course, intensified that sense of apprehension and concern.
These are dark days for our country, where we are seeing - yet again - a fracturing of our society, as a fault line opens up. Whenever our society fractures, as it has done many times before, our instinctive reaction is to rush to one side of that divide, or to the other. In my sermon this morning, I offered a vision of an alternative place to that, which is actually the place that God calls us to be: bridging the chasm so that the fault-line can be healed and people can be brought back into reconciliation with each other.
One way we can support each other at this time - by being those bridges of hope - is offered to us by our Jewish friends in this neighborhood. I invite you to join me, and members of Hillside Church, St Patrick's Church, St. Nersess' Seminary and Congregation B'Nai Yisrael in a Memorial Service on Monday, October 29 at 7:00pm at Temple Shaaray Tefila, 89 Baldwin Rd, Bedford Corners, NY 10549.
These are troubling and uncertain times in our world, but please know that God always keeps us under the shadow of his wing.
Rev. Nils Chittenden, Rector