Clergy from many faith traditions and from across Kalamazoo County have come together out of concern over talk by some individuals of negative actions following our national election. They invite the whole community to an interfaith service for unity and peace on November 9, the evening after the election. They asked ISAAC to help organize events and met with Chief Jeff Hadley and Deputy Chief Donald Webster from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety to help ensure safety.

On November 3, they gave a press conference at Bronson Park to give their joint letter below, signed to date by over 60 clergy. The Rev. Dr. Randall Warren from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Rev. Jesse Herron from New Life Fellowship Church, Imam Hafiz N. Akbar from Kalamazoo Islamic Center, Rabbi Matthew Zerwekh from Temple B’nai Israel, and Dr. Charlae Davis from ISAAC, all spoke. Clergy who would like to add their names should contact the Rev. Randall Warren rwarren@stlukeskalamazoo.org.

An Open Letter to the People of Kalamazoo County from Your Religious Leaders

Dear People of Kalamazoo County,

As religious leaders in the Kalamazoo area, we call all people to mutual respect, support, and communal peace during the election and afterwards. In our diversity of beliefs and faiths we want to remind everyone that we share many common values. Some of those values are compassion, empathy, graciousness, humility, inner peace, justice, and concern for all people.

To build on our strengths and shared values, we are issuing this call. We ask you to make this election, regardless of its results, a time of peace and an occasion to renew your own commitment to our shared values. And we invite you to attend the interfaith worship, Communal Peace: A Service of Readings & Music, to be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 247 W. Lovell St., Kalamazoo 49007 on November 9, 2016 at 6:30 PM. There will be free parking and a staffed nursery.

Our nation is deeply divided and therefore we find that this call to mutual respect, support, and communal peace is very timely. Sadly, among a few people nationally there has been talk of potential civil unrest following our forthcoming election. Because of this unhelpful talk, several clergy met recently with Kalamazoo Public Safety’s Chief Jeffrey Hadley and Deputy Chief Donald Webster. We found that meeting to be both helpful and encouraging. We have much in our county about which to be grateful and proud. Together we make our area a place of meaning and value.

Faithfully,
Your Religious Leaders

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