Monday, November 30, 2015

A Pastoral Letter in response to recruitment efforts of the Klan

As pastors of churches in and around Mountain Top, we are at once grieved and dismayed to read recent local news of Ku Klux Klan recruiting in our county and a cross burning in our own Mountain Top community. Grieved, because this anti-Christian and un-American organization claims to represent Jesus our Lord and the values of our nation. Dismayed, because we are concerned that local media coverage of these events only serves to publicize the Klan’s message of fear and hatred. As leaders of the religious community in Mountain Top, from Catholic, Protestant, and Independent churches, we stand together against the Klan’s efforts in our entire region and are committed to welcome and celebrate our African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Jewish, Arab, and Asian neighbors and friends.

The Klan brands itself as a peaceful Christian organization protecting and promoting Caucasian culture and heritage and claims that the burning cross represents nothing other than the light of Christ. This is nonsense; symbols have meaning rooted in the history of their use, and the burning cross is today what it has always been, a symbol of terror used to intimidate nonwhites into subjugation. The Klan’s methods and language clearly demonstrate their fear, hatred, and embrace of violence. In an October 18 Times Leader article, their Imperial Wizard claims the organization is nonviolent, but ominously adds, “If someone interferes, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen.” One local member says, “We’re called the Invisible Empire because nobody knows who we are. We could be your neighbor.” This language is both violent and threatening; the Klan and other hate groups, in spite of claiming to be Christian, only demonstrate the potential of Scripture to be abused by evil. As followers of Jesus, we categorically reject the hatred, fear, and violence of the Klan as sinful, evil and anti-Christian.

Furthermore, we embrace one of the great gifts of the American tradition: the diversity that makes us great, our roots as a nation of immigrants, and our ongoing welcome of immigrants. The Emma Lazarus poem on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty names Liberty the “Mother of Exiles” and calls out in welcome to the world,
. . . Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
We therefore denounce the efforts of the Klan as both un-American and non-Christian.

It is our hope that our community and churches will continue their long tradition of welcoming “the alien, the orphan, and the widow” (Deuteronomy 24:17-22) into a community “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9). We devote our support to victims of racist violence and bias, and our leadership to making our churches and communities safe and welcoming for all.

Rev. JP Bohanan, Christ United Methodist Church, Mountain Top
Rev. Mark Dodson, Stairville, Slocum, and Faith United Methodist Churches
Rev. Joseph Evanko, Saint Jude’s Catholic Church, Mountain Top
     Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Dorrance
Rev. Michele Kaufman, Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, Mountain Top
Rev. Brian Knorr, Mountaintop Family Center Church
Rev. Tom Miller, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, Mountain Top
Rev. Jim Shanley, The Presbyterian Church of Mountain Top
Rev. Jeffrey Tudgay, Saint Jude’s Catholic Church, Mountain Top
     Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Dorrance
Rev. Virginia Miner, Acting General Presbyter, Presbytery of Lackawanna
Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Salsgiver, District Superintendent, Lewisburg District
     Susquehanna Conference, The United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Jeremiah J. Park, Resident Bishop, Harrisburg Area,
     Susquehanna Conference, The United Methodist Church

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Endorsers (Nov 5-)

The Gallagher family White Haven
Anne Marie Stevens Larksville
Margaret P. Piper Williamsport
Joe and Toni Furcon Mountaintop
Pastor Sean Patrick Smith Woodland Area United Methodist, Woodland, PA
Rev. Dr. Jean-Pierre Duncan Scranton
Carla and Courtlyn Roser-Jones State College, PA
The Jameson Family Mountain Top
Preston family White Haven
Wesley and Bonnie Bouika Mountain Top
James Jacobs McClure
Anthony Pszeniczny Mountain Top
Rev. Eric Shafer St. Paul's United Methodist Church, State College
Keith Duclos State College
Carl and Bonnie Pillar State College
Bob A Johnson State College PA
David and Caitlin Fisher State College, PA
Mac Justice State College, Pa
Guy & Linda Mc Donald State College
Philip Mohr State College, PA
John Werner State College,PA
Louis Geschwindner State College
William Culp State College
Bruce Marks Towanda
Pastor Sherry Good Towanda First UMC
Joseph Sullivan State College
David Martin Tunkhannock
Joseph Hockersmith Shippensburg

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Endorsers (Oct 27-)

Spector Family Mountaintop
Sharon Lumbis Sweet Valley
Tony Lumbis Sweet Valley
Dr. Jayne Klenner Dallas
J. Alex Case Taipei, Taiwan
Pastor Dan Kerlin Mifflin; Trinity, Grace, Ebenezer UMC
Robert Sheets mountain top
Paula Bear Creek
Charles E. Purcell Mountaintop
Janet M. Purcell Mountaintop
John & Karen Zapotok Hanover Twonship
Mary-Ann Pretko Kingston
Frances McCormick Laflin, PA
Pastor Brook Selby, MDiv White Haven, Mountainview Community Church
Beth Snipas Mountain Top
Mike Wolf mountain top
Martha S. Kellow, Ph.D. Mountain Top, PA
Pastor Fred Snyder Beach Lake; Lake Ariel & Lakeville United Methodist Churches
William A. Morgan Shippensburg, PA
Rev. Penney Rahm Beaufort, SC
Pastor Grace Marie Ransom First United Methodist, Hollidaysburg
Rev. Mark Terwilliger Clarks Summit; Countryside Community Church - a United Methodist Fellowship
Christie R. House New York, NY
Donna Kozden Mountain Top
Jonathan Kuhar Mountain Top
Rev. Douglas L. Sivers Hallstead, Clarks Summit United Methodist Church
Rev. Stephen Portner Bethany UM Church, Berwick
Rev. Ryan Gephart Christ United Methodist Church, Selinsgrove
Mary Biscontini Wapwallopen
Don Reasoner Bergenfield, NJ
Harvey Weintraub MD Harveys Lake
Heather Balester Wilkes-Barre
Martin and Susan Biskup Wapwallopen
Sue Strassman Wilkes-Barre
Dave Kline Mountaintop
Julie Schoch Mountain Top
Cynthia Willis Bloomsburg

Monday, October 26, 2015

Endorsers (through 26 Oct)

Barry H. Dyller Laflin
Mrs. Rebecca Reynolds Kingston
Jacquie Fine Mountaintop
Andrea Shipton Mountain Top
William Obeid Mountain Top
Leona Obeid Mountain Top
David Morgan Mountain Top
Laurie Morgan Mountain Top, Pa
Apostle M. McQuay MISSOURI
Evangelist Cheryll Culver KINGSTON
Katheleen A. Golden, MSG/USAF/Ret Wilkes-Barre
Ronald L. Ferretti Wilkes-Barre
Robin Bohanan Mountain Top
Jean M. Tosh Mountaintop
John Wills Mountain Top
Etta Penney mountaintop
Mary Jean Morris Mountain Top
Deacon John & Mary O'Connorr Kingston, St. Ignatius Loyola
Joanne Hagner Mountain Top, PA
Susan McMullen Mountain Top
Tom McHugh Mountain top
J. Dragan Kingston
Tom and Judy Pribula Dorrance
Brian P. Oliver Mountain Top
Mark J. Zara Hanover Twp
Debra Romig Mountaintop
Robert Romig Mountain top
Brian Adams Baltimore
Russell K Garis Mountain Top
Michele C Garis Mountain Top
Dr. James M. Case Wapwallopen, PA
Alene N. Case Hobbie
Kathleen Danley Howard, Curtin UMC
George R. Barron Mountain Top
Pamela Stevens -Snyder Wilkes-Barre
Patrick J. McCormick Laflin
Sr.Miriam F. Stadulis Nanticoke
Rev. Douglas McKeeby Bucharest, NE Pennsylvania Synod
Pastor Joshua Davinsizer Troy, New Creation Christian Parish
Joan L. Krause Nanticoke
Sabrina A. McLaughlin Pottsville
Sheri Anne Kline Mountain Top

Friday, October 23, 2015

Endorsers (through 24 Oct)

Jesse P Bohanan Mountain Top
Mr. Jess Grimm Mt Wolf
Shannon M. Williams Mountain Top
James Kells Millsboro
Rev. Brian Lucas Paxtonville U.M.C.
Jo Gulvas MountainTop
Cheryl McLaughlin Mountaintop
Rev. Ronald S. French Trinity United Methodist Church, Danville
Rev. Randall G. Bennett, Jr. Christ Community United Methodist Church, Selinsgrove
Judith Gallucci Mountain Top
Edythe L. Weller Mountain Top
Mrs Stephanie Gryboski Mountain Top
Anne R. Luke Exeter
Rev. Mark F. Reisinger Beaver Memorial United Methodist Church, Lewisburg
Shannon Falcheck Mountain Top
Carrie L. Kline Mountain Top
Dean V. Kline II Mountain Top
Christal Basham Mountain Top
Diane Keating Mountaintop
Rev. Ryan T. Krauss Watsontown United Methodist Church
Pastor Roger Noss Jr Calvary-WN, Nanticoke First & Centenary- Ashley UM Churches
Amanda Downend Modrovsky Mountain Top
Jessica Schilling Mountain Top
Jeff Stanton Mountain Top
Carol Lada Mountain Top
Diane Carroll Pugh Jim Thorpe
Kailee Traficante Mountain Top
Helen Davis Mountain Top
Elizabeth Shipton MountainTop
Mike Grego Lewistown
Crystal Mahler Mountain Top
Rev. Larry Siikanen Trinity United Methodist, Winfield
Marza Cyphert Mountain Top
Marcy Picardi Pittsburgh
Analiza Peck Hyattsville
Gary Shupp Mountain Top
Elizabeth Kalac Gloversville
Lori Dalton Mountain Top
Alexis Saponsky Mountain Top
Vicki Kells Millsboro
Pastor David Walker West Pittston First United Methodist Church
Rev. Judy Walker Shavertown UMC
Pastor Daniel Wilt St. John's United Methodist Church, Chambersburg
Jerry Wolgemuth Harrisburg
Rev. Michelle Whitlock Waverly United Methodist Church
Janet Hessert Williamsport
Pattie Zipko Mountain Top
Melissa Auman York
Theresa O'Dea Mountain Top
Rev. Laura Kyler Hancock Emory UMC
Ellen Maccarone Sweet Valley
Roberta Dado Mountain Top
Jo O'Mara Mountain Top
Rev. Ed O'Mara Mountaintop