On Saturday, March 19th, lay members of various faith congregations will assemble peacefully at the front of the First Congregational Church of Southington across from the Town Green in a “Love Rally.” The event, beginning at 10 a.m., is being organized by members of the Southington Interfaith Clergy Association.
The rally is a demonstration against the recent appearance of hate flyers posted on parked vehicles in various Southington locations. Leaflets bearing the Nazi Swastika and bannered as White Supremacy are currently being investigated by police.
The Southington Interfaith Clergy Association is an association of Southington clergy that represents a number of religious and community organizations. Members include: Rev. Rachel J. Bahr, First Congregational Church, UCC; Rabbi Shelley Kovar Becker, Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation; Rev. Dr. Ronald B. Brown, First Congregational Church, UCC; Rev. Kevin M. Dillon, St. Aloysius Church; E. Richard Fortunato, Advocate, Community Service; Rev. Paul Goodman, Plantsville Congregational Church, UCC; Eldon Hafford, Bread for Life; Rev. Sharon Holt, First Baptist Church; Rev. A. Waine Kargul, Mary Our Queen Church; Rev. Ronald P. May, St. Dominic Church; Rev. Nicholas P. Melo, St. Thomas Church; John Myers, Southington Community YMCA; Rev. James R. Reemts, Zion Lutheran Church; Rev. Joshua Rinas, First Lutheran Church; Rev. Dr. Suzannah Rohmann, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Atty. Edward Rosenblatt, Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation; Kulwant Samra, Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar; Rev.Adam Subocz, Immaculate Conception Church; Rev. Victoria Triano, Southington Care Center
The association also posted the following open letter to residents of Southington:
Residents of Southington:
As faith leaders in our beloved town of Southington, we stand together in our belief that every human being is a magnificent creation of God. Our tradition reminds us, “God now said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness.’”
Together we affirm that all people are created in the image of God and that all persons, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or any other difference that might be used to separate us, are a part of God’s sacred and holy creation. We share a deep conviction in God’s will that every person be treated with equal respect.
We are appalled that flyers bearing symbols of hate, the Nazi swastika and proclamation, “White Power,” have appeared in our community. We see distribution of these flyers as an act of hatred, symbolic of violence, seeking to deny basic human dignity to our neighbors and friends. As faith leaders in Southington, our common message is love for one another, love that transcends the differences our eyes perceive.
When we reach out to touch the hand of our neighbor, we do not feel color of skin or substance of belief. We touch another human being created by God. That is what God intends. We call on our Southington community to stand in solidarity, bound together in love and rejecting separation and prejudice. In God’s eyes, as it should be in ours, every human being is created equal, precious, and loved.
We deplore the violence represented by these flyers, and vow to stand against it. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” As faith leaders in our Southington community it is our fervent hope that we will stand together in love to drive out the hate represented by these flyers.
Only solidarity and love can make us the wonderful community Southington strives to be.
Southington Interfaith Clergy Association