The Reverend Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, issued the following statement earlier today in response to the day’s tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut:
I am shocked and profoundly saddened by the news of the massacre at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. My deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives today. I know of nothing more tragic than a young life cut short by violence. This is a time for embracing one another and helping each other find strength and solace.
This is just the latest horrific act of gun violence targeting innocent lives. Whether it’s the mall shooting in Oregon or the mass murders in Aurora, Colorado or the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson, Arizona or the Columbine school killings, these instances of violence continue to erupt in America. It is an additional tragedy that today’s killings occurred in an elementary school where our youngest and most vulnerable spend their day. All Americans must reflect humbly and work to change the conditions that allow such violence to take place.
We must rededicate ourselves to creating a society where differences are resolved without violence, where the mentally unstable do not have ready access to lethal force, where violence is not glorified, and where we can live, love, and work in safe places. Our task as a religious people committed to compassion and to peace is to show a better way.
In the wake of devastation wrought by the earthquake that struck the island of Haiti on January 12, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association are launching a joint relief effort to bring aid to the impoverished island nation.
The Haitian Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance estimates 2.2 million people are immediately affected in this nation of 9 million people.
For more information, click here. Please contribute by clicking here.
The theme of our October 4 service is Association Sunday, a day when churches throughout our denomination reflect on the greater Unitarian Universalist movement and contribute to the Unitarian Universalist Association.
In keeping with that, our minister, the Reverend Frieda Gillespie, will speak on the topic of “A Hidden Wealth.”
The Reverend Forrest Church, one of the best-known Unitarian Universalist ministers, died on Thursday at the age of 61. Reverend Church, who led the Unitarian Church of All Souls in Manhattan, was a prolific author and a compassionate voice.
During his terminal illness, he continued to write and speak, publishing Love and Death: My Journey Through the Valley of the Shadow, in 2008.
Some resources on Reverend Church’s life and work:
The Unitarian Universalist Association has set up a blog so that visitors can offer their condolences to the UUs of Knoxville, Tennessee, following Sunday’s shooting at a local UU church. The blog, titled “Supporting Our Friends in Knoxville,” offers a way “to express love and support for members and friends of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and the Westside Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.” (Via Philocrites.)