CBI, NCJW Participate in Texas Impact Interfaith Service for Public Witness
Rev. Danielle Ayers, Rev. Suzii Paynter, Rabbi Kelly Levy, Ellen Sable, Rev. Remington Johnson, Shaykh Mufti Mohammed-Umer Esmail attended the Texas Impact Interfaith Service for Public Witness. Credit: David LaPotin.
On the south steps of the Texas Capitol, clergy and lay leaders representing the many faiths of Texas, welcomed state legislators back to Austin Jan. 6 with inspirational words about what their faith traditions say about vulnerable people, public policy and those elected to govern its citizens.
Rabbi Kelly Levy from Congregation Beth Israel and Ellen Sable, board member of Texas Impact and representative of NCJW and CBI, took part in this Interfaith Service of Public Witness. The service is organized biannually by Texas Impact to coincide with the start of each Texas legislative session.
Beginning with a Muslim call to prayer, Hindu, Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist, Muslim and Jewish clergy offered impassioned verses and motivating words from each faith’s holy scriptures. Levy spoke about instructions from the Torah and the prophet Isaiah to pursue justice, love your neighbor, protect vulnerable citizens, treat all people with dignity, and pursue a judicial system to follow these moral teachings. She offered words of hope and prayer for elected officials, encouraging them to keep these teachings in mind while they work to solve the challenges facing Texas.
Other clergy spoke on these same themes as well, expressing hope for Texas being an inclusive society characterized by justice and love. Takeaway messages were not to stand idly by, to speak out and encourage our legislators to create an inclusive and just society.
The service ended when Sable blew a shofar as a call to action, an awakening of the legislators and the citizens of Texas at the start of the 2019 legislative session. ■