Clergy Notes — Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, October 15, 2023

I had a very different topic planned this week, but in light of the terrible news coming out of Israel and Gaza, I could not in good conscience write about anything else. It can be tempting to keep silent in situations like this; situations which are complex and charged with emotion.

However, those affected are real human people, Israeli and Palestinian, with families and friends, hopes and dreams; human beings made in the image of God. It is difficult not to feel helpless. We may not understand where God is in all of it, but we may be very sure that God is paying attention.

Indiscriminate violence against innocents to achieve any political goal is unacceptable. We have an obligation to lift our voices against terrorism, and a particular obligation to our Jewish neighbours and friends in this part of the world to love and support them as they grieve losses unimaginable. It is dangerous to ignore the fact that here as elsewhere, anti-Jewish rhetoric has damaged and still continues to damage lives and families. It is not about assigning blame or taking sides; it is about following Jesus’ command to love one another. It is about being human together.

Pray for all those who have lost loved ones. Pray for peace and an end to violence. But also, love one another. Do not look away from the suffering faces of those whom God is watching intently. See them as the beloved children of God they are; pray for them; love them. It is the only way hatred can ever be extinguished, here on earth.

Mother Amanda

An official statement on this topic from the Primate and the Bishop of the ELC can be found at

Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday, October 15, 2023