To the editor:

As ministers of the Gospel, we have been alarmed by the rise of violence and threats of violence within our community, in our state, and across the nation. Such threats seek to divide and distract us from the Gospel of Jesus, who came and was crucified and raised to restore all that is broken in our world.

Thoughtful, faithful Christians can and do disagree with one another. However, instead of violence, hatred, or fear of others, Jesus embodied and proclaimed a message of salvation, hope, peace, gentleness, self-control, and love. In striving for these things, we truly seek God's way rather than our own, and encourage those we shepherd to do likewise.

As Christian leaders in our community, our mission is always to proclaim the good news that Jesus came to bring life out of death, light out of darkness, hope out of despair. We join together with confidence in the unfailing love and goodness of God as we pray and work for peace and unity in our community and world.

Mike Bartolomeo, Church of the Harvest, Alexandria

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Greg Billberg, First Lutheran, Alexandria

Father Steve Binsfield, The Church of St. Mary, Alexandria

Pastor Jim Black, Catalyst Covenant, Alexandria

Deacon Ruth Blom, Shalom Lutheran, Alexandria

Hans Dahl, Calvary Lutheran, Alexandria

Craig Dahl, Alexandria

Jon Ewton, Lake Community, Alexandria

Jeff Ferguson, Spirit Life, Alexandria

Pastor David Fleener, Shalom Lutheran, Alexandria; Dean of the Alexandria Conference of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

Rev. Dr. Rollen Halvorson, Alexandria

Dave Holtz, Luther Crest, Alexandria

Jay Jenson, The Church in the Pines, Alexandria

Pastor Eliza Johnson, Peace Lutheran, Barrett

Jerry Lanes, Bethesda Lutheran, Alexandria

Angie Larson, Calvary Lutheran, Alexandria

Mike Loween, New Testament, Alexandria

Pastor John E. Martinson, Alexandria

Dave Mergens, Alexandria Covenant

Pastor Andrea Olson, Chaplain for Hospice of Douglas County

Trinity Opp, Alexandria Covenant

Jeremy Pedersen, Our Saviour’s/Fahlun Lutheran Parish, Nelson

Dennis Preston, Alexandria

Pete Reishus, New Testament, Alexandria

Rev. John M. Riggle, Faith Lutheran ELCA, Miltona

Pastor Kathryn Rothman, Alexandria

Jill Sanders, First Congregational UCC, Alexandria

Thomas Sinning, Emmanuel Episcopal, Alexandria

Pastor Rachel L.O. Stout, Parkers Prairie

Pastor Gary B. Taylor, Alexandria United Methodist

Pastor Bill Tesch, Bishop of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

Pastor Kenneth Thiele, Alexandria

Kari van Wakeren, First Lutheran, Alexandria

Pastor Yolanda Y. Williams, PhD, Glenwood United Parish

Pastor Denise Croskey, Holmes City

Rev. Heather E. Klason, Bethel Lutheran and Herman United Methodist, Herman

Pastor Scott Hoecker, Esther Lutheran Church, Parkers Prairie

Pastor Ken Losch, Alexandria

Julie Carlson, SAM Oscar Lake (Farwell) and Trinity Parish (Holmes City).

Pastor Rich Fitzer, Osakis

John Peshek, Alexandria