By Conference Minister Diane Weible
The headlines read: “It’s been a hate-filled week in America”.
I don’t have words to respond to the violence last week. I feel like I’ve written that sentence before. Words of comfort just don’t seem enough. Words of hope seem inadequate. Anger is there. Sadness is there. Despair is there.
When will we use our anger and our sadness and our hope and our love all at the same time? Because I’m convinced that is the only way to respond to hate. We need to be angry that another mass shooting, another act of bigotry, has taken the lives of too many people and devastated their loved ones and traumatized those who witnessed it. We need to be sad that last time something like this happened (and sadness begins with even having to say those very words) our youth walked out of their schools and marched on Washington and led us all in an effort to stop people from carrying guns that should not be in their possession…and nothing changed.
We need to be hopeful that this time we can make a difference. Because, if we have hope, we will get up and do something to make what we hope for a reality. And if all of us stand up and walk together, this time might be the time that something changes. We need to have love. We need to love so much that when one person dies because of violence, we carry our love for that person and our grief at their death as if it were our own loved one. Because when we love deeply we do not forget the names or the faces and when we don’t forget we don’t stop trying to do something to change the system.
There are other links below to letters and articles written by some of our colleagues in Conferences and the National Setting. One offers an action item—to write letters to the survivors and members of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, PA. It’s a place we can start to allow our anger, sadness, hope and love to move in harmony as we seek a different story for our society and our world.