East Cobb UMC in Marietta hosted people of faith from across their community to support Jewish neighbors following a hateful demonstration in front of an East Cobb synagogue during services Saturday.
Participants in the Time of Prayer and Action on Wednesday, June 28, filled the East Cobb UMC sanctuary to overflowing. Organized by Rev. Kristin Lee of East Cobb UMC, Mechel McKinley-Hoffman of Marietta First UMC, and Rabbi Dan Dorsch from Etz Chaim, the service included music, prayer, scripture, community messages, and an Acts of Kindness pledge. Nine members of the Georgia legislature attended the service as well as the local Cobb County commissioner and the Cobb Police Chief.
"The Jewish community in Cobb County appreciates your support. We have received thousands of emails and caring messages," said Rabbi Dorsch. While expressions of hate have happened before, this time feels different, shared Rabbi Dorsch. He recently realized why.
"This is the first time I remember not organizing our own response," he said. "Ironically, this event has shown how loving the East Cobb community is."
Another hateful demonstration was held in Macon last weekend, by the same extremist group. The group has distributed antisemitic flyers in Cartersville, Sandy Springs, Athens, and other communities. South Georgia United Methodists were quick to stand in solidarity with their Jewish neighbors, too. (Read about their response and a Service of Love and Unity set for 2 pm Sunday at Mulberry Street UMC
Speakers at the Time of Prayer and Action shared about bi-partisan legislation before the next session of the state legislature. They explained how violent rhetoric leads to violent behavior and the need to address contemporary hate symbols like the swastica.
"Look around. We don't have to do this alone," said Rev. Lee to the nearly 400 attendees. "Let's do justice now. Love mercy now. Walk humbly now."