September 25, 2022

Dearly Beloved,

At sundown on Sunday, our Jewish siblings mark Rosh Hashanah, one of their high holy days. It is both a celebration of a new year as well as the opportunity to look back on the past year and to repent of one’s sins which leads the way towards Yom Kippur 10 days later. You can find out more information at: Rosh Hashanah FAQ: All About the Jewish New Year | My Jewish Learning

For many us of us (except those in the schools), this day will pass as just another day. Yet, we are mindful that we as people of the Christian faith do not live in isolation. While this celebration is not part of our own tradition, we may honor and respect those that do mark this day.

In the Lutheran church, we have had a checkered relationship with the Jewish people. Many of Martin Luther’s later writings are particularly anti-Semitic. During Hitler’s time, some Lutheran pastors were silent while others like Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke and acted for justice which cost him his life. In the ELCA, we have sought to right some of the wrongs and strengthen our relationship with our Jewish brethren. See: Jewish Relations

I would invite you to learn more about some of the Jewish traditions. You can follow some of our local faith communities at: or

I would also encourage each of us to pray for our Jewish neighbors as they celebrate their holy days. Here is a prayer from the hymnal “All Creation Sings:”

God of mercy and new life. you love all people whom you have made in your image. empower your faithful people to stand in solidarity with all those who face prejudice and oppression because of their religious identity. Deepen respect, community, and love among all those who seek justice and peace. Amen.

peace in Christ,

Pastor Jen

P.s. there is also a new Ken Burns PBS documentary on the Holocaust