When The Rev. Dr. Murdoch MacPherson, the senior pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in New Providence, unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, August 13, the Jewish people and Temple Sinai lost a great friend.
Pastor Mac and I became dear friends when we were asked to co-chair the New Providence Diversity Task Force from 2008-2010. I quickly learned that Mac was one of the most compassionate, joyous, and wise individuals I have ever had the honor to meet.
Pastor Mac was a great friend of the Jewish people. Because there was no synagogue in New Providence or Berkeley Heights, Pastor Mac offered to place a Chanukkah menorah on the church’s property so that the Jewish community could properly celebrate the holiday.
When I presented Faith Lutheran Church with a mezuzah as a thank you gift, Pastor Mac invited me to recite the blessing and to affix it to the doorpost of the church’s main sanctuary.
Pastor Mac was a lifelong student of the Holocaust. The murder of 6 million Jews greatly pained him. For Pastor Mac, teaching about the Church’s complicity in the Holocaust was a moral obligation.
One of Pastor Mac’s favorite biblical passages was from the prophet Micah: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what Adonai requires of you: Only to do justice, and to love goodness, and to walk modestly with your God.” Pastor Mac lived up to those words each and every day.
Temple Sinai mourns Pastor Mac’s passing. We extend our deepest sympathy to Mac’s cherished wife, Carol, and to the entireMacPherson family for your loss.