The United Methodist pastors in our area sent a letter to local newspapers, and we wanted to share this with you.
This came about because Pastor Dan Sturdivant, who lives in Livermore, went to a birthday party for his next door neighbor’s one year old child. The family practices the Muslim faith. During the gathering, Dan heard how worried, and often frightened, they were. Comments, looks, media reports made them feel unsafe.
As pastors, we wanted to speak up, as a matter of conscience. We want to live in a community and nation, where faithful practionars of all faiths, can live together in peace. Both Kim and Chelsea would welcome conversations around this topic.
“We stand with Muslim Americans for peace and for mutual respect.
As clergy of the East Bay, we speak out against fear of Islam and fear of Muslims. We rebel against hateful acts defaming mosques and disrespectful comments in the media maligning Muslims. We are pleased to be neighbors with peaceful people in our communities who practice Islam, and we stand in solidarity with them against terrorism and violence of any kind.
We defend the right to freedom of religion in this nation, and we welcome refugees and immigrants of any religion who come to this country seeking safety and peaceful existence. Our ancestors sought peace and opportunity in this nation, and we are proud to live as neighbors with others who come also seeking new life.
We believe that we can only achieve peace in the world by gaining understanding about the religions of the world. We therefore welcome interfaith dialogue and community projects that bring people together across religious differences.
May we find unity and appreciation in our diversity, as we long for a world that embraces the brotherhood and sisterhood of all humankind.
Sunny Ahn, SRVUMC;
Diana Bohn, Lynnewood UMC
Chelsea Constant, Asbury UMC
Ron Dunn, SRVUMC
Luke Ham, SRVUMC
Heather Leslie Hammer, Lynnewood UMC
Kim Risedorph, Asbury UMC
Dan Sturdivant, Grace UMC
Jonathan Tarman, Castro Valley UMC