Pueblo, Colorado… Joining the community of Pueblo, Seventh-day Adventists issued a statement regarding the planned bombing of Temple Emanuel, the Jewish temple in Pueblo, and delivered it to the synagogue leadership on Friday, November 8.
At sunset, a dozen Adventist church members and leaders attended the Shabbat Eve Service in solidarity with the Jewish community. Rabbi “Birdie” Becker led out during this gathering of the largest congregation in Pueblo since Temple Emanuel’s opening in 1900. The synagogue that can accommodate 180 people, had standing room only with many of the supporters standing in the foyer and outside.
“We stand in solidarity with you and the city of Pueblo in condemning the attempt to take lives and cause a deep wound in the fabric of our city,” stated Anton Kapusi, pastor of the Pueblo First Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Federal authorities in Colorado have arrested a man who is being accused of plotting to blow up a synagogue in Pueblo, the second oldest synogogue in Colorado, and listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The suspected bomber used several Facebook accounts to promote violence and show support for the Holocaust, writing in a private message in July, for example, that he was “getting ready to cap people,” the federal documents said. He is in custody and charged with a hate crime.
The Adventist statement expressed rejection of hate and planned violence toward the Jewish community, and was addressed to the Rabbi of the Temple Emanuel and its members.
“We, at the Pueblo First Seventh-day Adventist Church, a part of the Rocky Mountain Conference in Colorado, Wyoming, and northern New Mexico, are deeply disturbed by the hate and planned violence this week on our fellow brothers and sisters in Pueblo’s Jewish community here in Colorado.”
The statement continued, that “as Christians and followers of Jesus, we stand with Him in condemning white supremacist groups that spread racism, violence and fear.”
“We pray that divine protection and peace would abide in you all, your homes and your synagogue and we pray for the day when all of God’s children, of all races, would treat each other with love and respect, rejecting bias and hate,” Kapusi wrote.
“It was a blessing for our church to express our solidarity with many different Christian denominations and religions. It was a joint social statement against hatred to stand with many others from our Pueblo community. Temple Emanuel undoubtedly lived up to its name ‘God With Us!,’ Kapusi said after the Friday meeting.
–RMCNews with Anton Kapusi; photo by Tom Kai.