This Interfaith Statement on the Middle East is an effort to give voice to religious leaders who long for peace.
We would like to express our thanks to those of you who have already signed on and those who have endorsed the statement in its spirit. Many have joined us in our prayers for working together for peace in the days ahead. May the God of Compassion and Mercy draw all of us together with bonds of justice and reconciliation.
We recognize that all of the events in the Middle East have local implications. And, we know that our Metropolitan Detroit community longs to hear from its faith leaders — to hear their prayers and their collective call for peace.
The violence in Gaza and elsewhere continues. In our own communities, there is demonizing of each other and too many of our community leaders seem to communicate through news reports and opinion pages of the newspapers rather than engage in any meaningful dialogue in person. We have continued to be involved in such dialogue and strongly encourage others to do the same.
We realize, that often what is “not said” can be just as hurtful as what is actually said. Silence at key points in community life can contribute to misunderstanding, bigotry and more violence. We are committed to speaking together for justice and peace when silence is hurtful.
We understand the statement that we have signed shows that the interfaith community: is still talking to each other; is praying for a long term solution to the problem in the Middle East; is asking for all to working locally for the collective good and for peace; and, denunciates violence on all sides, without finger-pointing at single side.
Interfaith Statement on the Middle East
The tragic loss of life and property in the Middle East, and the prolonged failure to negotiate a fair two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, are a matter of grave concern for all people of faith.
A permanent solution to the escalating cycles of violence must be found in the Holy Land that affects all the people of the Middle East.
We urge the Children of Abraham to stop killing each other.
We cannot stand by and let our families of faith be torn apart.
We pray for the end to killing.
We call for:
1) Prompt cessation of all hostilities by all sides — Ending the use of force causing civilian casualties and destroying lives/communities.
2) The United States to bring the warring sides together and resolve their differences.
3) The Israelis and Arabs to reach agreement on final and secure borders, to live in peace with justice side by side recognizing each others right to exist with dignity and security.
The Signatories below invoke the spirit and guidance of God as we attempt to please God by calling for peace, justice and reconciliation.
The Rev. Daniel S. Appleyard, Christ Episcopal Church, Dearborn, MI
Victor Ghalib Begg, Council of Islamic Organizations of MI
Bob Brutell, Adjunct Professor, Religious Studies, University of Detroit Mercy, MI
Imam Abdullah El-Amin, Detroit Muslim Center, Detroit, MI
Imam Steve Mustapha Elturk, President Islamic Organization of North America, Warren, MI
Gail Katz, President, WISDOM (Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit) , MI
Imam Muhammad Mardini, American Muslim Center, Dearborn, MI
Brenda Rosenberg, Reuniting the Children of Abraham, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Sheri Schiff, Race Relations & Diversity Task Force, Birmingham-Bloomfield, MI
Roger Strelow, Christian Science Church, Birmingham, MI
The Rev. Harry T. Cook, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Clawson, MI
The Rev. Dr. Allen D. Timm, Executive Presbyter, Presbytery of Detroit, MI
The Rev. Frances J. Hayes, Littlefield Presbyterian Church, Dearborn, MI
The Rev. Rod Reinhart, Rector of St. Clement’s Episcopal Church Harvey IL.
Eide A. Alawan, Office of Interfaith-Outreach, Islamic Center of America, Dearborn, MI
The Rev. Clare L. Oatney, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Ferndale, MI
The Rev. Walter Sherman, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Indianapolis, IN
The Rev. Felix Lorenz, Pastor, St Paul’s Church, U.C.C. Dearborn Heights, MI
Padma Kuppa, Bharatiya Temple of Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Mustapha Elturk, Ameer, Islamic Organization of North America, IONA, Warren, MI
The Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, Bishop, Deputy for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, The Episcopal Church
The Rev. Barbara Clevenger, Unity of Farmington Hills, MI
Rashid Taufiq, Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan
The Rev. William Gepford, Consultant for Interfaith Ministries, Presbytery of Detroit, MI
The Rt. Rev. William E. Smalley, Bishop of Kansas (Ret.)
Barbara Talley, Executive Director, Detroit West Peace Center, United Methodist Church, Detroit Annual Conference, MI
The Rev. Allan E. Bendert Cherry Hill Baptist Church, Dearborn Heights, MI
The Rev. Richard T.Draper, Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Madison, Indiana
The Rev. Marv Kormann, Pastor, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (ELCA), Dearborn, MI
Mr. Ed (Amad) Bedoun, Chairman of the Board, Islamic Center of America in Dearborn MI.
The Rev. Canon David I. Shouilders, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis (retired)
Lila Amen, Dearborn Area Ministerial Association, Dearborn, MI
Nancy Thayer, Christian Science Church, Birmingham, MI
The Rev. Mr. Robert D. Rowland, Gesu Catholic Community, Detroit. MI
The Rev. Mark Van Wassenhove, Rector, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Indianapolis, IN
The Rev. Jonathan Hutchison, St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bean Blossom, IN
The Very Rev. Robert Giannini, Canon Theologian of the (Episcopal) Diocese of Indianapolis
Najah Bazzy R.N. Interfaith Liasion, Islamic Center of America, Dearborn, MI
The Rev. Carlton Kelley, Richmond, IN
The Rev. Harold V. Smith, Retired Episcopal Priest, Indianapolis, IN
Imam Aly Lela, Islamic Association of Greater Detroit, Rochester Hills, MI
Dr. Muhammad Kashlan, President, Muslim Unity Center, Bloomfield Hills, MI
The Rev. Kathleen J. Cullinane, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, IN
The Rev. Dr. David R. Ferner, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Franklin, IN
The Rev. Bill Wieland, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis , IN
The Rt. Rev. Cate Waynick, Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
The Rev. Martha A. Honaker, Rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, New Harmony, IN
Deacon Alice Goshorn, Archdeacon, Diocese of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
Rev. Tony S. Marshall, Pastor, House of Prayer, Director of Spirituality Oakwood Hospital, Dearborn, MI
The Very Rev’d S. Scott Hunter, Dean, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, MI
Rabbi Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Woodland Hills, CA
Dr. Barbara Landau and Shahid Akhtar, Co-Chairs, Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims, Toronto, Canada
Jeanne Hernandez, St. Clare of Assisi, Ann Arbor, MI
The Rev. Kirsteen Wilkinson, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Indianapolis, MI
Deacon Enid Morrison, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church Indianapolis, IN
Art Roselle, Universal Peace Federation of Michigan, Farmington Hills, MI
The Rev. Dr. Richard R. Godbold, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Evansville, IN
Grace Burton-Edwards, Trinity Episcopal Church Indianapolis IN
The Rev. Kenneth J. Flowers, Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Detroit, MI
Raad Alawan, free-lance writer, independent television producer, Dearborn, MI
Dr. Trilochan Singh, Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, Plymouth, MI
The Rt. Rev’d Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr., Bishop of Michigan/President, Province V, Detroit, MI
Tim Attala, Attorney Miller Canfield Law Firm, Detroit MI
The Rev. Joe Summers, Vicar of The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, Ann Arbor, MI
Arif Huskic, Bosnian Islamic Center, Hamtramck, MI
Imam Oliver Mohammad, Clinical Chaplain in the NC Dept of Corrections and Imam at As Salaam Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC.
The Rev. Greg Barrette, Renaissance Unity, Warren, MI
Felix A. Lorenz Jr., minister, chaplain and 2008 Interfaith Partner Award honoree.