Clergy expresses unity against hate, prejudice

To the editor:

Let it be known that we, clergy of South Berkshire stand solidly in support of our Muslim brothers and sisters.

At the heart of our shared faith traditions is the teaching that every human being was created in the Divine image. These are words we live by.

We respond to and endorse wholeheartedly the call to "welcome the stranger" that cries out again and again from all of our Holy Scriptures. We believe in a world founded on love and recognize that it is only through our collective action that we will bring such a world to fruition.

We weep for the refugees who run from terror and we seek to provide a safe harbor for these innocent families caught in the cross-fires. We recognize that responding to hate with hatred and with fear, only fans the fires of enmity among us.

We pray for our country and for its leaders, to remember the soul of America, born from the fires of religious persecution. Let us not abandon our most cherished values, for if we do, then our enemies will shout victory and we will have nothing left to protect.

Richard Chrisman, Lenox Barbara J. Cohen, Great Barrington

Richard Chrisman is interim minister, United Church of Christ in Lenox. Barbara J. Cohen is spiritual leader, Congregation Ahavath Sholom in Great Barrington. The letter was also signed by:


Belle Fox-Martin, licensed minister, United Church of Christ; Kathleen George, LADC I, BCPC; Rev. Liz Goodman, Monterey UCC; Rev. Jill D. Graham, pastor, First Congregational Church of Sheffield, UCC.

Rabbi Neil P. G. Hirsch, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire; Rev. Linda Hoddy, spiritual director; Rev. Cheryl Ann Luft, MSS. Ecumenical, unaffiliated; Rev. Liza Joy Marcato and Rev. Hugh Thornton, The Christian Community Movement for Religious Renewal.

Rev. Lois Rose, UCC minister and director of East Mt. Retreat Center; The Rev. Annie Ryder, Christ Trinity Church in Sheffield, South Berkshire Friends Meeting (Quakers); Rabbi Kaya Stern-Kaufman, RIMON: A Collaborative Community for Jewish Spirituality; Father Bruce N. Teague, Our Lady of the Valley Parish, Sheffield.

Reverend Charles Van Ausdall, pastor of First Congregational Church of Great Barrington; Rev. Janet W. Zimmerman, Grace Church, An Episcopal community; Rev. John Wightman, Sheffield; pastor Brent Damrow, First Congregational Church, UCC, Stockbridge.