Editor's note: This blog post was written following the attack on a Texas church that killed 26 people. It is relevant again now, following the most recent killing of 17 students at a Florida high school.
Dear good-hearted people,
It happened again. This time it happened in a church. No sooner did we finish praying for Las Vegas than we heard of yet another atrocity in Texas. It’s hard to process isn’t it? I, like I imagine many of you are, am also experiencing a complicated mix of feelings. In the wake of the recent church shooting several of us gathered with candles for prayer, song, and discussion. The concerns we shared together have been on my mind. I would rather be writing my November blog about autumn leaves with a Wendell Berry poem attached. With all we are being asked to process, it seems necessary to speak to the larger context and the events we are experiencing as a society.
It breaks my heart as a minister to hear people asking me how we can ensure their safety at church from someone who would want to do harm. It breaks my heart that we see senseless and preventable violence being committed in places like movie theaters, and concerts, and malls, and dance halls, and schools, and even churches. People are becoming too afraid of each other, afraid to gather. It becomes necessary for us to devise “a plan” to deal with potential emergencies. (We are currently developing one.) I find it heartbreaking that we are unable to truthfully guarantee that it won’t happen again or that we are ever 100% safe and secure. We can’t offer that guarantee, but we can hold a space where we examine together why violence seems to be spreading, why these terrible events keep happening, and learn how to heal it together with God. We can create a sacred space for community where at least our hearts are protected, kept whole, and nourished by the wisdom of Christ. I can assure you that wisdom allows us to transcend fear and face the challenges of our time with unbroken souls.
As Christians, we are asked to believe that Peace is possible. We have to believe that peace can be our reality as individuals, as communities, towns, nations, and as a world. We must at least be able to imagine that. We have to help each other believe this so we can work to achieve it.
Read the full post on the Barrington UCC website
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