When hate comes home, what do you do?

Last Sunday, we found a flyer from The Daily Stormer – a white nationalist group – posted on our church doors.  I held up the flyer at the beginning of worship, as well as our special offering envelopes. The contrast was telling.  One was a black-and-white piece of anti-Semitic propaganda. The other was a full-color invitation to give to our sisters and brothers around the world.  One represents who Jesus Christ calls us to be and the other does not. And the church responded with a resounding, “Amen.”

At the advice of the elders, the first thing I did was report the incident to the City of Beacon Police.  The next thing I did was reach out to the clergy in Beacon, including our dear friend, Rabbi Brent. We found out we weren’t alone.  Fliers were posted on the doors of another congregation here in Beacon, other places in the Hudson Valley, and across the country.

While law enforcement does its due diligence to keep our community safe, I’ve been working with other clergy to gather our community on November 1 to break bread, build relationships, and stand united with our Jewish sisters and brothers who are feeling quite vulnerable at this time.  Stay tuned for more information, and I hope you’ll join us.

To learn more, I invite you to read this excellent report from Brian PJ Cronin at the Highlands Current, as well as Rabbi Brent’s words shared with BHA.  As I shared with the Highlands Current, we at First Presbyterian Church “will not be intimidated by these flyers nor deterred in our efforts to build relationships with our neighbors of all backgrounds. Our faith in Jesus Christ compels us to love all people, with no exceptions.”

Which, leads us to Sunday.  Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.  Where does Christ’s invitation to forgive fit into this equation?  Join us this Sunday to learn more. Hope to see you there!


In strong, loving name of Jesus,

Pastor Ben

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