“During Holy Week our scripture readings make frequent reference to “the Jews.” These words are broadly understood as referring to some of the Judean authorities of the time who were opposed to Jesus, and not to Jews as a people, then or now.”
This statement will appear on bulletins of Episcopal Churches across the Diocese of New York. Some of my readers may be thinking, "So? This is news?" Here's the thing. The solid progress lies not in the content of what is written, but the fact of its being authorized by the Bishop of New York and published.
Perhaps you're thinking, not solid progress but slow progress. Really? Only last summer the Episcopal Church voted to approve Resolution C046, which commits the national church "to basic interfaith knowledge among lay and ordained church ministers" and adds, "we would like to see basic educational resources creatively developed...." This is just a start. Other dioceses across the country are welcome to piggy back on what New York is doing. Members of other denominations are also welcome to adopt or adapt this electronic pew card.
Here is what the Bishop of New York is writing to his people. “The Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission, through the work of its Episcopal-Jewish Dialogue, has given consideration to how references to “the Jews” in certain passages of scripture have been used historically to justify discrimination and violence against the Jewish people, as well as how those passages may be heard by those who are members of and visitors to our churches. With this in mind, the Commission offers the following statement as a resource which may be used by congregations of the Diocese of New York in service bulletins and other communications during Holy Week."
I know we're not supposed to say "Alleluia" during Lent, but ALLELUIA!