Statement in response to New Zealand Mosque shooting

March 15, 2019
The mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photograph: Google Maps

Dear Friends:

The clergy, staff, and congregants of the Memorial Church of Harvard University sit in sorrow and solidarity with our Muslim siblings. Our hearts ache and our souls lament for the dozens of precious lives murdered by a gunman in New Zealand. All words seem cliché and trite. That this vicious attack occurred within a place of prayer and worship only further negates the customary, “our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Nevertheless, pray, we must. Love, we must. An ethic of love is the only formidable force against hate, intolerance, and injustice. We encourage you to reach out to Muslim neighbors, friends, and family members. Stand or sit alongside them. During times like these, presence speaks louder than words. Hands that serve are as valuable as lips that pray.

In this spirit of presence and prayers, we invite you to join members of the larger Harvard community tonight for a vigil of mourning. We will gather on the steps of Memorial Church facing Widener Library at 8pm.

In sorrow yet solidarity…

One Luv,

Jonathan L. Walton signature

Jonathan L. Walton
Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister, The Memorial Church of Harvard University

Photo: The Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch, New Zealand, where shooting began on Friday. (Image: Google Maps)

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