Letter to Our Sikh Brothers and Sisters

March 4, 2017

Dear Sikh Neighbors in Washington state,

We were deeply disturbed to learn this weekend of the shooting in Kent of a member of the Sikh community and the ripples of fear it has caused. While increased hate speech and threats have caused fear in communities across our nation, this weekend they came to fruition in a tragic act of violence. We are relieved that the man is recovering, and we support the efforts of the FBI to investigate the incident as a hate crime. We want you to know that the Faith Action Network stands with you amid the rise of hate, xenophobia, and white nationalism across our country.

We need to come together to address the deeper problems leading to such acts of violence on our streets and in our places of worship. Dr. Jasmit Singh, FAN Interfaith Leader, has urged us toward deeper work through our communities to combat this with love, understanding, and education. We echo the words from Rajdeep Singh from the Sikh Coalition, “Tone matters in our political discourse, because this is a matter of life or death for millions of Americans who are worried about losing loved ones to hate.”

Rabbi Aaron Meyer from FAN’s Governing Board reminded us recently to “maintain constant vigilance toward the array of fires before us.” We see a threat to one of us as a threat to all of us, and seek to stand in solidarity in the face of threats to Sikhs, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, refugees, African-Americans and LGBTQ communities.

Please let us know how we might help make this commitment of solidarity more tangible for you, and how we can be part of a circle of protection and support to your communities. Together we will build the moral strength that will overcome discrimination, threats, hate crimes and violence in our communities.

In Solidarity and Hope,
FAN Interfaith Leaders’ Council Members

Elise DeGooyer
FAN Co-DirectorAneelah Afzali, Executive Director
Muslim Association of Puget Sound-AMEN
FAN Governing Board Member

Rev. Dr. Carey G. Anderson, Pastor
First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Seattle

Rabbi Jill Borodin
Congregation Beth Shalom, Seattle

Rev. Jim CastroLang, Pastor
First Congregational United Church of Christ, Colville
FAN Governing Board Member

Rev. Michael Denton, Conference Minister
The Pacific Northwest Conference, UCC

Rev. Cecilia Kingman, Minister
Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Rev. Rich Lang, District Superintendent
United Methodist Church, King County

Rabbi Jason Levine
Associate Rabbi, Temple Beth Am, Seattle

Rev. Genjo Marinello, Abbot
Seattle Zen Temple & Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji

Rev. Kari McFarland, Stated Clerk
Presbytery of Olympia, PCUSA

Rev. Eliana Maxim, Associate Executive Presbyter
Presbytery of Seattle, PCUSA

Rev. Sandy Messick, President
Northwest Regional Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ)

Rabbi Aaron C. Meyer
Associate Rabbi, Temple De Hirsch Sinai
FAN Governing Board Member

Rev. Dr. Marcia J. Patton, Executive Minister
Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches

Rev. Dr. Lyda Pierce, Coordinator of Hispanic Latino Ministries, Pacific Northwest Conference, UMC
FAN Governing Board Member

Rev. Jenny Phillips, Minister for Environmental Stewardship and Advocacy
Pacific Northwest Conference, UMC

Imam Jamal Rahman
Rev. Karen Lindquist
Interfaith Community Sanctuary, Seattle

Michael Ramos, Executive Director
Church Council of Greater Seattle

Bishop Gregory Rickel
Episcopal Diocese of Olympia

Rev. Paul Benz
FAN Co-DirectorJonis Davis
Member, Kol HaNeshamah Synagogue
FAN Governing Board Member

Thomas Ewell
Member, Religious Society of Friends 

Bishop Richard Jaech
Southwestern Washington Synod, ELCA

Rev. Carol Jensen
Member, Trinity Lutheran Church, Everett
FAN Governing Board Co-Chair

Rev. Ken Jones, Minister
Unitarian Universalist Church of Yakima
FAN Governing Board Member

Fr. Michael G. Ryan
St. James Cathedral, Seattle

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky
Western Jurisdiction, United Methodist Church

Carolyn Stevens
Quaker & Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Temple
FAN Governing Board Member

Rev. Dean R. Strong, Stated Clerk
Presbytery of the Northwest Coast & Synod of Alaska-Northwest, PCUSA

Rev. Nigel J. Taber-Hamilton
St. Augustine’s-in-the-Woods Episcopal Church, Freeland
FAN Governing Board Member

The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, Dean and Rector
Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

Bishop B. Kirby Unti
Northwest Washington Synod, ELCA

Bishop James E. Waggoner, Jr.
Episcopal Diocese of Spokane

Rabbi Zari Weiss
Kol HaNeshamah Synagogue, Seattle

Bishop Martin Wells
Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod, ELCA

Rabbi Daniel A. Weiner
Senior Rabbi, Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle/Bellevue

Michael Yoder
Associated Ministries of Tacoma Pierce County

Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick
Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth Am, Seattle