ALCOA, Tenn. (July 19, 2015) -- Holston's Muslim Outreach Team released the following statement today:
The Muslim Outreach Team of Holston Conference joins the people of Chattanooga in grief and outrage at the murders of five members of the military on Thursday, July 16. We grieve with their families and lament that these fine men will never have the chance to father their children, to love their wives, and to serve their community and country. These types of attacks, increasing in frequency, are appalling and have no place in American society.
We are also saddened to hear that the shooter worshipped in a mosque and called himself a Muslim. As people who believe the Great Commandment compels us to love our neighbors and to welcome those whose beliefs differ from our own, our prayers go out to Chattanooga’s Muslim community, who suffer along with other Tennesseans in the midst of this crime.
We hope that incidents like this will cause us all to grow closer to one another rather than bring about enmity. We urge Christians across our connection to reach out to our Muslim neighbors, stepping out of our comfort zones to offer a kind word or share a meal. This is a time to build friendships rather than echo hateful words, and we ask the United Methodists of Holston to 'set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.'” (1 Timothy 4:12, NRSV)
See also (video below and photo at top of page):
Rev. Steve Martin represents the Holston Conference Muslim Outreach Team at an Interfaith Vigil hosted by the Muslim Community of Knoxville on July 19. (See WATE report.)