Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Jul 29, 2008

Grief, Love and Solidarity


I don't have many words about the shooting at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church on Sunday, just feelings....deep sorrow mostly.

Here is what UUA President William Sinkford wrote on July 27, 2008:

"I am shocked and sorrowed by the terrible shootings in the sanctuary of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. My heart is heavy and my prayers are with our injured sisters and brothers in Knoxville. While many details of this tragedy remain unclear, our Association will do all we can to support Unitarian Universalists in Knoxville in the hard days to come.

A tragedy such as this makes us acutely conscious of the beauty and fragility of our lives and those of our loved ones. I am especially saddened by this intrusion of violence into a worship service involving children and youth. I know that many people, both in Knoxville and around the country, are struggling with shock and grief right now. I pray those so affected will find strength and comfort.

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry are on their way to Knoxville to offer additional ministry to the congregation as it grieves. And Unitarian Universalists around the world are sending love and prayers to the Tennessee Valley congregation to tell them they are not alone on this dark day."

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We now know that another congregation from the area, Westside UU, was also directly involved in this tragedy. The service Sunday was an intergenerational service, with two dozen children performing what they had worked on in a summer music camp and members of the Westside UU church were visiting. One of them was killed.

Last night our church, First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Terre Haute, held a service as did UU churches around the country. There were readings, time for those who wished to express their thoughts, candle-lighting, an opportunity to write down messages to TVUU and Westside, and a procession to our sign where we tied purple ribbons.

Our hearts hurt for our sister congregations.


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