Our group first came into being through a simple act of reaching out to one another in the face of terrorist violence, fear and eruptions of hateful prejudice. Today, as we struggle to find words to adequately respond to the events in Israel and Gaza, we come together again as a visible expression of our friendship and solidarity.
We are appalled by the horrific actions of Hamas and their unspeakable brutality, and by the brutal plight of ordinary civilians caught up in the ensuing siege and bombardment of Gaza: We pray for all those killed and injured, those taken hostage, and for those in anguish within our own communities here in Birmingham as they fear for family and friends.
As the conflict continues to escalate, our prayers become yet more fervent for urgent humanitarian relief and for peace-building at an extremely volatile time. In coming together today as faith leaders, we reach out to all those within our communities to join us in prayer for both Israelis and Palestinians in their acute suffering. Amidst deep emotional distress, we urge deep reflection on faith, providing wisdom to guide our thoughts and actions, with a common Creator as our witness.
As we make sense of the catastrophe and strive to respond, may we firmly safeguard the good relationships that we have built up in Birmingham over many, many years.
Let us stand together.