Like so many of you, I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the senseless killings at the Sikh temple today. These tragedies happen with increasing frequency in a world where ignorance, fear and hatred seem to have their way far too often. Let us NEVER become complacent about about such events. They are simply not a reflection of the way the world is created to be.

Like so many of you, as I heard the awful details, I realized how little I knew of the Sikh community, a community which preaches tolerance and believes in peace. It is often ignorance which fuels the fear, fear which fuels the hatred, hatred which leads to violence.

As people of faith, I ask us not only to stand in solidarity with our grieving brothers and sisters in the Sikh community. I ask us to pledge to be a part of a world where ignorance, fear, hatred and violence do not rule the day nor lower our expectations for what life should be. For me, it is a matter of practicing faithful Christianity to make that pledge.

There will be a brief prayer service tonight (August 5th) at 8:00 held at Christ Church (Episcopal) 5655 N Lake Dr. Whitefish Bay. It is open to all faiths. I think this is one of those times where we are better if we stand together than if we stand apart.

I plan to be there. I hope you can join me and others.

Bishop Jeff
Greater Milwaukee Synod, ELCA

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