SHADYSIDE (KDKA) — The Jewish New Year has begun and with it comes a time of reflection, forgiveness, and new beginnings.
It comes nearly one year after the mass shootings that took place at the Tree of Life.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
The Calvary Episcopal Chruch in Shadyside has opened its doors to the Tree of Life congregation as a place of worship.
This week, after the final prayers and goodbyes were said, the church covered their crosses, removed the hymnals, and a transformation began to making the church a welcoming home for the Jewish community.
“Anyway that they would feel comfortable and know this could be their building, they could use it,” said William Stevens, Director of the Calvary Episcopal Church Altar Guild.
After the tragedy last year, the church offered their space for worship, meetings, and offices. The Tree of Life took them up on the proposal and after several meetings decided to have their High Holiday of Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur at the church.READ MORE: Police Release New Image Of Suspect Wanted In Penn Hills Shooting
“After lots and lots of meetings, we’ve gotten to be friends and want the best for each other,” said Father Jonathon Jensen said. “We are focused on what we have in common as opposed to what divides us.”
The arc holding the Torah, prayer shawls, and artwork sent to Tree of Life were all put into place right after the Sunday service inside Calvary Episcopal.
“It’s just what we’re supposed to do to help each other,” added Stevens.
Father Jonathan Jensen says the decision to allow their neighbors to use the church comes down to living out the values they preach on Sundays.
“I think this is the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s how a person of faith can respond. It’s what being a good neighbor is. Recognizing Tree of Life as our neighbors and that’s what we’re called to do.”MORE NEWS: Registered Sex Offender Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Missing Westmoreland County Teen
The services will span a 10-day period which started Sunday evening and the church plans to take extensive security measures.