The Villager Voice

This is the third time this week you have heard from us - the fourth, if you count Wednesday morning’s Facebook post where we shared the prayer of our United Church of Christ leadership in the wake of Tuesday’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.  And since we know that Facebook does not reach everyone, I thought I’d share that prayer again with you this morning, because when we find ourselves in deep despair and wonder what in the world we can possibly do in the face of such overwhelming hurt, one answer, for churched and unchurched alike, is prayer.

“In utter and irrepressible grief we offer these words, giving collective voice to the anguish we all feel. God, hear our prayer:  for the nineteen children now dead;  for the teachers now dead; for the parents, family, and friends who will spend the rest of their lives aching every night from the weight of this; for a schoolhouse rendered trauma-laden and grief-stricken in a matter of minutes, whose students will suffer PTSD in the wake of this tragedy; for the caregivers in Uvalde now burdened with the task of managing the shared and collective grief of a traumatized community who love their children; for those who feel the new burden of useless guilt in the aftermath of this, wondering what else they could have done to prevent this; for the nation, so in love with our weapons that we continue to tolerate these mass shootings and the grief they inflict without ever building the collective will needed to address it fully; for the world, suffering a massive and collective grief of its own and witnessing acts of cruelty daily too numerous to fully process.  Heal our gaping wounds.  Restore our sense of compassion.  Quiet the restlessness within us.  Settle the building righteous anger.  Quicken the desire for peace.  Remove the chasm that sees race and religion and political persuasion as the marks of a person’s worth and value.  End the cycle of violence that begets more violence.  Silence the voices that broker in fear and division and create the hatred we see mounting everywhere between us.  Quiet the troubled soul thinking of grabbing the next gun and ending innocent lives.  Empower us all to act now, refusing to wait for the next horror show before we change the laws that make guns and their discharge so accessible.  Turn anguish to action; our rage to restoration; our hatred to love; our grief to hope.  Let it never happen again. Ever. How much more can we bear, O Lord? How much more can we endure?  Be our rock of refuge.  Be our light of inspiration.  Be our beacon of hope.  Be the arms of love that hold us until the pain recedes.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.  Amen.”               

Another response, spurred in many, is to turn to the solace of music.  Sunday’s service will include some special music, some for Uvalde, some for the sheer joy of making music. We celebrate our choir this Sunday for their outstanding contributions to our worship experience - we hope you’ll join us as we thank them.  We will also celebrate the sacrament of Christian baptism this week with the Tobin family, a timely reminder of the preciousness of young life.  Finally, don’t forget next week we will bid farewell and Godspeed to our gifted and dedicated Parish Administrator Mari Lynd as she moves on to the next chapter of her life.

Bulletin for Sunday May 29, 2022
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