Since I wrote last week, we have all been trying to come to terms with the murderous events at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. On Monday evening over a thousand of us gathered for a community vigil in front of Providence’s Jewish Community Center. If it ever needed to be demonstrated, this event communicated the deep solidarity we all feel with our Jewish friends and neighbors. To paraphrase President Kennedy’s
Ich bin ein Berliner
, in resisting antisemitism, we all must proclaim our solidarity with being Jewish. At Monday’s vigil Bishop Nicholas spoke from the heart, making us all proud to be Episcopalians.
You can read his moving words below through the link at the bottom of this E-News.
st is the evening we traditionally hold the East Side Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. This year it is St Martin’s turn to host. After discussions around the need to revitalize this event, I want to notify everyone that we intend to proceed with an interfaith service of readings, prayers, and music built around 4 or 5 significant aspects of gratitude and thanks giving. I will write more as the date approaches and plans materialize.
I write on the eve of All Saints- All Souls, more popularly known as Halloween. Having lived in Arizona where the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) dominates the popular imagination regardless of culture, it’s interesting to come to New England where the Celtic tradition of Halloween expresses remarkably similar themes.
Our human imaginings about our relationship with the dead plumb cultural themes that emerge from the deeper layers of the collective unconscious. Despite the surface appearance of difference, cultures deal with death with remarkable similarity. Death in most cultures is an event that is both feared and celebrated. In a time when cultural divisions are exacerbated by the politics of fear, Halloween and Dia de los Muertos bridge across cultural divides. This is something to be welcomed and cherished.
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