Sharing responses from our Evergreen Association churches to the terrorist attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand:
First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City: Our hearts are breaking for our Muslim brothers and sisters in the wake of the massacre in New Zealand. We stand together, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist Etc. against this hate.
Queen Anne Baptist Church, Seattle: We grieve with our Muslim neighbors and are in solidarity with the Muslim community after the horrific terrorist attack at mosques in New Zealand. As people of faith, we pray for all to have freedom, peace, and safety in their place of worship.
Fairview Community Church, Costa Mesa, CA: Rev. Sarah Halverson-Cano represented us today in sharing flowers, condolences and love with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We join with them in prayer and grief.
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA shares these words: Join us in prayer for the families and communities of the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings. We pray for Muslims all over the world, that they feel the love of others on this tragic day and know they do not stand alone.
Seattle First Baptist Church: We love and support our Muslim neighbors. As a community of people striving to follow the way of Jesus, we condemn the tragic violence against the Muslim community in New Zealand. We mourn with our Muslim siblings. As a community in the Christian tradition, we recognize the long history of violence against Muslims in our God's name, and we condemn it. Let us rededicate ourselves each day to working together towards a world where all are free from fear and characterized by justice and celebration of all people and all religious traditions.
Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland, CA: On Thursday many of us from the faith communities of Alameda County gathered for a a meal and discussion of important topics of at the Muslim Community Center in Pleasanton. It was a beautiful time of unity and hope. Last night the news came of the attacks on the mosques in New Zealand.
Psalm 56:1 Be merciful to me, O God,
because I am under attack; my enemies persecute me all the time.
As witnessed by these acts of terror, the attacks do come. As we pray for the grieving let us also work for the day when we lay our hate aside, put weapons down and the fear of attack becomes unfounded.
Shell Ridge Community Church, Walnut Creek, CA: In response to the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday, March 15, we offer our deepest sorrow and personal horror. At least 49 people were murdered in the shooting with dozens more hospitalized.
We also express our condemnation of violent and destructive actions motivated by racism and religious bigotry. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers in the face of this tragedy, as we continue to stand with our Jewish sisters and brothers following the murders in Pittsburgh less than six months ago, and our African-American sisters and brothers murdered while praying in church in South Carolina before that. This is a time to be bold witnesses.
We recognize and respond to God's call in the gospel of Jesus to explicitly and unequivocally speak against the irrational fear-mongering and hate campaigns leveled against ethnic and religious minorities. Such perspectives are irreconcilable with fostering a just and sustainable humanity. We understand and believe that our human differences and diversity are a source of great strength and potential. May this violence elicit our peaceful protest and solidarity.
Morgan Valley Christian Church, UT: Let us pray for all of those mourning losses and survivors who will be healing for the rest of their lives. We stand against radicalism and terrorism on display today against Muslim people peacefully worshiping. It is our responsibility to see the face of God in every person we meet and love them.
First Baptist Church, Denver, CO: Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Colorado Muslim Society: Please know that the members and friends of the First Baptist Church of Denver offer you our deepest condolences and love during this time of great grief, pain, fear and what we can imagine might be anger.
In November of 2017, many within your community reached out to our faith family after a mass-shooting took place at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. We were grateful for your love and care and offers of support.
Heinous acts such as took place in Christchurch, New Zealand, remind us always of the human capacity for evil. When these horrific events take place, they also remind us of our human need to stand in solidarity with each other.
First Baptist Church of Denver is grateful for your witness to our world and for your commitment to peace for all people. We have shared meals and events with you in our facility and have been enriched by the relationships this has fostered.
If we can offer any tangible support during the days and seasons ahead, know that we will stand at the ready to serve you as we can.
In the spirt of love and inter-faith support, your faith friends at the First Baptist Church of Denver.
Burien Community Church, Burien, WA: We are broken hearted to hear about the terrible shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. As American Baptists, we strongly believe in the freedom of safe worship for all people of all faith traditions. Our siblings of all religions, including Islam, deserve to be able to pray in peace and safety in their houses of worship. An attack on any house of worship is an attack on all houses of worship. We believe that God loves everyone, and that freedom from persecution because of religious belief, or lack of religious belief, is a right of every person born. We are praying for the now fifty lives lost and their families from this terrorist act, and we grieve with the people of New Zealand and particularly the Muslim community there.
To our local Muslim community we want to say that we see you, we stand with you, and what hurts you, also hurts us. We have more similarities than differences between us, and we are praying for you in this terrible time. In this terrorist incident in New Zealand, and in similar actions here in United States, such as at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, and others in Canada and other countries, there has been a terrible unifying thread of white nationalism. We know that thoughts and prayers must be backed by actions (James 2:26), so we gird ourselves against institutionalized racism, and the fear and hate that it engenders. We are just one congregation, but we know that small actions of justice and hope disrupt the surface of societal detachment, and will create ripples of love and solidarity through our shared community.
Your fellow children of God, Burien Community Church
First Baptist Church, Berkeley, CA: At First Baptist Church of Berkeley this Sunday, we will pray with our Muslim sisters and brothers: "Khudaya, rahem kar" (Have mercy on us, Lord)