Dear Beloved Community,
I write to you today with a heavy heart.
As many of you know, over the weekend we witnessed the outbreak of violence in Israel where a devastating attack by Hamas has caused immense suffering and loss. Our prayers go out to the people of Israel, especially to those grieving casualties, and to those who have been wounded or taken hostage by Hamas. In this time of crisis, we also extend our prayers to the innocent civilians, including children, who are caught in the midst of this conflict.
As we unite in prayer, I join our Bay Area civic and religious leaders such as San Francisco Mayor London Breed and House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi in calling for restraint on both sides and an end to further loss of civilian lives. It is our fervent hope that a path to peace can be found amidst the current turmoil.
During a gathering on Sunday at Temple Sherith Israel in San Francisco Mayor Breed said, “I know for many people here, our hearts are heavy,” […] “Here in San Francisco, we condemn these attacks and we stand with the people of Israel. The Jewish community of the entire Bay Area have gathered to send our energy to people and their suffering. This tragedy will hopefully bring us together.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
And House Speaker Pelosi also spoke saying, “As we gather, Catholics and Christians are also crying for Israel and for peace,” … [San Francisco Chronicle]
In this moment of sorrow and uncertainty, may our shared compassion and unity be a source of strength. And in the spirit of unity and hope, let us continue to pray for peace, comfort for the afflicted, and an end to violence in the land.
Join me in praying the following for peace among the nations from the Book of Common Prayer: “Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.” [BCP pg. 816]
Yours in faith,
The Right Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus Bishop of the Diocese of California
*Edited title on 10/12/23 to replace Palestine with Hamas