Tuesday, June 23, 2015

a time for lament in response to tragedy and domestic terrorism

'Claiming Common Ground against Gun violence' was a peaceful protest planned in Salt Lake City, Utah, held in response to the shooting of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Deacons were encouraged to participate in this peaceful march on Sunday June 28th, during the Episcopal Church's General Convention in Salt Lake City.

"We are making a witness to Utah and indeed to the world that as people of faith, we need to claim common ground on gun violence. The incident that was reported out this morning, when you combine mental health issues, which I think is in play here, and racism, which is obviously in play, and guns, you have a toxic combination which produces tragic results," said Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, N.J., a founder of Bishops United Against Gun Violence.

“The type of healing we need can only be borne out of lament — a lament that holds space in the deepest pits of our beings for the piercing sorrow and rage being expressed by black communities, cultivates empathy, and puts restorative justice at the center of our collective action.” (Sojo)

Around the world, let us pray with the people of Charleston, and with the Bishops United Against Gun Violence. 

A hymn by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette for Charleston:They Met to Read the Bible
ST. CHRISTOPHER (“Beneath the Cross of Jesus”)
They met to read the Bible, they gathered for a prayer,
They worshiped God and shared with friends
and welcomed strangers there.
They went to church to speak of love,
To celebrate God’s grace.
O Lord, we tremble when we hear
What happened in that place.

O God of love and justice, we thank you for the nine.
They served in their communities
and made the world more kind.
They preached and sang and coached and taught,
And cared for children, too.
They blessed your church and blessed your world
With gifts they used for you.

We grieve a wounded culture
Where fear and terror thrive,
Where some hate others for their race
And guns are glorified.
We grieve for sons and daughters lost,
For grandmas who are gone.
O God, we cry with broken hearts:
This can’t continue on!

God, may we keep on sowing
the seeds of justice here,
Till guns are silent, people sing,
and hope replaces fear.
May seeds of understanding grow
And flourish all our days.
May justice, love and mercy be
The banner that we raise.

Tune: Frederick Charles Maker, 1881
Text: Copyright © 2015 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:
Permission is given for free use by local churches and in ecumenical services.

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