SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Ministerium, consisting of representatives of houses of worship and other community leaders, have planned a rally, “We Stand Together – A Gathering for Religious Tolerance,” on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. at the Scotch Plains Municipal Building. 

“We want to raise our voices in support of mutual tolerance and respect, and to firmly state to our Muslim brothers and sisters that we will not be silent in the face of political rhetoric that seeks to incite hatred and cause division,” said Rabbi Joel N. Abraham, Past President of the Ministerium. "We believe strongly that the country that we all love was founded on the concept of religious liberty for all."

Members of the Scotch Plains/Fanwood Ministerium issued the following statement:

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  • We believe that our communities are better because of their diverse members. 
  • We share in our various traditions that we should treat others as we wish to be treated, and not do to others what is hateful to ourselves. 
  • Therefore, we utterly reject and condemn the current trend in political rhetoric which foments division and hatred. 
  • To our Muslim brothers and sisters, we unequivocally state that they should feel as equal in citizens, rights and responsibilities as any of us.
  • We commit to drown out the rasp of hate with the clarion call of acceptance and welcome. 
  • No citizen of the United States - no one - should feel that they need to hide who they are, lest they endanger their lives.
  • We will not let fear deflect our moral compass.
  • We will proclaim liberty and justice for all.

Members of the Scotch Plains/Fanwood Ministerium include:

Rev. Carletta Aston (First United Methodist Church), President
Bishop Kelvin C. Brooks (Kingdom Life Cathedral), Vice President
Rabbi Joel N. Abraham (Temple Sholom), Past President
Rev. Cynthia Cochran-Carney (Willow Grove Presbyterian Church), Past President
Rev. David Jahnke (Fanwood Presbyterian Church) Past President
Cantor Darcie Naomi Sharlein (Temple Sholom)
Rev. E F Michael Morgan (All Saints’ Episcopal Church)
Alexander Mirabella (Scotch Plains Municipal Manager, Union County Freeholder)
Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover
Cantor Matt Axelrod (Congregation Beth Israel), Past President
Min. John A Solomon (St. John’s Baptist Church)
Social Justice Matters, Inc.
Rev. Howard Bryant (Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council)
Elder Roderick Spearman (Trinity Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church)
Ayaz Aslam
Sid Blanchard, Exec. Dir., Community Access Unlimited (CAU)

The Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council also has been instrumental in helping to plan the rally.