Greetings to the friends and members of First Christian Church,
The world is changing faster than we as humans can adapt. It is unfortunate that we are continuously responding to unexpected violent tragedies that rob this world of life. We, as a Christian church, do offer our thoughts and prayers to the victims, families and the communities of El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that are dealing with the horror of mass shootings. We will not stop praying and our thoughts will always be directed toward those that suffer. We also acknowledge thoughts and prayers are not enough. Change needs to happen and First Christian Church can be used to bring peace to a world filled with fear. There is no institution better situated to bring about positive transformation into local communities than congregations.
We are a welcoming community of love and through that love we offer more than thoughts and prayers. As a Christian community we provide sanctuary, a safe place, for people to be comfortable with who you are while we ask questions and receive the challenges of our faith. There are people in society that do not know love, in the church you can be loved and know that you are not alone. Many individuals struggle to ask for help for themselves, in the church we can know one another and know each person’s heart. We all know trauma, whether we acknowledge it or not, and some of us are far too familiar with how trauma can affect our ability to get out of bed in the morning. Our tradition, interpretation of scripture, and experiences lived in God’s creation demand we both say and do things consistent with the understanding of our faith. We are to love and serve.
In the days following tragedy it is difficult to celebrate life. Fortunately, I find myself able to celebrate and pray for the survivors and the responders that continue to care for those in need. We can support, learn from and even join the people that work to enact meaningful changes to make this world more loving. The world has taken notice of the dangers that now exist in places we used to assume as safe. We grieve for the loss of life and mourn with those who experience each new day with a void in their heart. It is not enough, and often impossible, to simply get on with our lives. We are challenged to adapt to a new reality. However, despite all that can go wrong in an instant there is still something that never changes. God demands that life persist. We are presented with the challenges of our faith, how will we share in experiencing new life with those that only know death?
Peace & Blessings,