We struck the religious imagination of an angry people
Beloveds in faith,
We have just lived through two more horrifying mass shootings in our country.
The trauma is real — and we dare not become immune to it.
I am heartsick, as I imagine are you.
What is happening in our country must be contained and transformed. The culture of violence and the increasing strength of white nationalist terrorism cannot be tolerated. We are becoming a soul sick nation, and the role of faith communities in the resistance and repair is critical. With Mahatma Gandhi, I think we need to step up and align ourselves with the dismissed and oppressed. We need to bring the moral strength and insight of our tradition out into the public square, that it might spark the religious imagination and the courage of our hurt and angry people.
Fortuitously, we have chosen to focus this year on learning to be more multiculturally competent and aware, generating for ourselves the ability to function and flourish in diverse communities, learning to appreciate what we have not previously understood. This is not just for our congregational leaders, but for all of us, a commitment to develop the insights and skill sets we need to be shapers and healers in this fractured violent world. It is our chance to do the work that is ours to do.
And there is the work of pubic witness. Please call our Senators, write to them or visit them in person while they are home for the summer recess. This is what I emailed to Senators Collins and King on Sunday, following the shootings:
I write as the leader of a faith community, Allen Ave. Unitarian Universalist Church, in Portland, Maine, and as a person deeply concerned about the gun violence and hatred rising in our country. Please support the efforts to bring HR8 to the floor of the Senate for debate and a vote. We need universal background checks for purchasers of guns, and we need funding to do more research on how to manage guns and gun violence in our nation. Too many have died, we need action. Thank you.
The precious and sacred Spirit of Life calls us to this work with an urgency that we dare not avoid. Our own lives and souls are at stake. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”