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Nelson Granade, pastor of First Baptist Church of Statesville.

On Saturday, Oct.27, the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh was ravaged by a senseless act of violence that cut short the lives of 11 people and left a number of first responders injured.

Once again our nation has been shocked and saddened by rising bigotry that expresses itself in repeated acts of hatred. As persons of faith, we at First Baptist Church of

Statesville wish to express our solidarity with those who are suffering and to condemn such violence.

Hatred can only win out if people of goodwill remain silent and disengaged. As Americans, we embrace the right of all people to worship in freedom and security. As people of faith, we are called to go beyond these minimal expectations to lovingly care for and protect all of our neighbors.

Before us is the opportunity to come together and publically cooperate to ensure that such tragedies never occur within our community. To do so requires us to move beyond mere words and truly practice our faith and our citizenship.

Nelson Granade

Pastor, First Baptist Church of Statesville

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Welcome to the discussion.

Please keep it clean, turn off CAPS LOCK and don't threaten anyone. Be truthful, nice and proactive. And share with us - we love to hear eyewitness accounts.