January 20, 2014
To honor the children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all others lost to gun violence, an interfaith candlelight vigil will be held on Summit’s Village Green from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 14, the first anniversary of the mass murder. Residents from all nearby towns are invited to participate.
Rev. Vanessa Southern, senior minister of The Unitarian Church in Summit, will be the host and main speaker. The program will include remarks by Sheriff Ralph Froehlich of Union County; William Edwards, a Vietnam veteran who was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force; Samuel Arnold, President of the Garden State Funeral Directors Association, and the mother of a child slain on a local playground.
The vigil remembers the 20 first-graders and six teachers shot to death on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter also killed his mother and himself.
The program will open with a local youth choir. After the speeches, all participants will light candles while professional singer Karen Egert, leader of NJ Residents for Action Against Gun Violence, performs “Sweet Angel,” which she wrote after the Newtown shooting. Her song will be followed by a recording of Newtown’s Youth Choir singing “My Beautiful Town.” Participants will be invited to join in the last verse.
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Time: 5:00 pm
Place: Central Presbyterian Church – Summit, NJ
Who: Free & Open to the Public – please join us!
What: Musical presentations by the choirs, bands and groups of Summit’s interfaith community, a presentation by and about Family Promise as well as a brief worship service followed by food and fellowship. Please bring non-perishables and/or a monetary gift for Family Promise.
As religious leaders in the City of Summit, we are proud of the way that our diverse community came together recently in response to a natural disaster. It was a powerful reminder that caring for our fellow human beings is a principle that unites us all.
Sadly, a recent act of vandalism here in Summit—the painting of a swastika on private property—reminds us that we are often quick to forget the humanity of those who may be of different religions or backgrounds. Whatever the motivation behind the act, it was a crude message of bigotry, and alien to the kind of welcoming and diverse community Summit seeks to be.
We believe that each human being, as a child of God, is entitled to be treated with respect, dignity, and understanding.
We believe that the ethical teachings of our common heritage are totally incompatible with any actions or words that injure other human beings because of their differences.
We believe that all people of good will in our community are called to demonstrate more love for those who are different from themselves, to pursue deeper understanding of faith traditions other than their own, and to express greater gratitude for the blessing of diversity.
We, the Summit Interfaith Council, pledge to realize this vision among ourselves, and to help our community become more welcoming to all, inspired by these words: “Have we not all one Creator? Has not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10)
What: Summit’s Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner Theater and Bonfire – LED BY OUR YOUTH!
When: November 18th from 5pm-7pm
Where: St. John’s Lutheran Church
Who: Free and open to the public. Adults, youth and children are welcome!
Please let your clergy know if you have youth who are interested in participating in the planning sessions or performing in the dinner theater.
At its final meeting of the program year, the Summit Interfaith Council elected officers for a two-year term:
Rabbi Avi Friedman of the Summit JCC – President
Rev. Andrea Walker of St. John’s Lutheran Church – Vice-President
Rev. Vernon Williams of Fountain Baptist Church – Secretary/Treasurer