This Week's Prayer

“God, lover of us all, most holy one, help us to respond to you, to create what you want for us here on earth. Give us today enough for our needs. Forgive our weak and deliberate offenses, just as we must forgive others when they hurt us. Help us to resist evil and to do what is good, for we are yours, endowed with your power to make our world whole” (Lala Winkley, SLT #514)
Our hearts are broken by the shootings Thursday at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College leaving 10 dead and 7 wounded. We are deeply saddened by this loss of life, and saddened and angered by our country’s evident willingness to allow mass shootings to continue.

Twenty-six dead at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown. Thirteen dead at the Washington Navy Yard. Three dead at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Nine dead in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Three dead, nine injured, in a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Sacred ground of being, can’t we make this stop?

There have been many more mass shooting than those that make the headlines. There have been 294 mass shootings – incidents where four or more people are killed or injured by gunfire – in the US, in 2015 alone. That’s an average of more than one a day.

Sacred ground of being, can’t we make this stop?

We know that we can. May we find the courage to do so.

We acknowledge that America’s devotion to guns is unique in the world; it is complicated, and it follows from a great many factors in our nation’s unique history. Let fearfulness be met by compassion. Let fantasies of protection give way to safer and more effective protection.

Where racial fears or immigrant fears or fear of a faith tradition have a role in our country’s amassing of firearms, may we tirelessly seek ways to build trust, understanding, and fair treatment.

Where fear of crime plays a role, may we seek ways to assuage fears. Building trust in our police departments, and insisting that police be worthy of trust, is a part of that. We know that reduced crime does not correlate with reduced fear of crime, but programs that address causes of crime are also valuable for their own sake – anti-poverty programs, jobs programs, education grants, drug treatment facilities, counseling, assistance, and rehabilitation.

May we be a part of building a beloved community that takes care of everyone, that educates everyone, that finds a productive and meaningful role for everyone. Sacred ground of being, may we be agents of the love that drives out fear.

No comments:

Post a Comment