Monday, July 28, 2008

Welcome to this space for expressing love and support

The Unitarian Universalist Association has opened this space for those who wish to express love and support for members and friends of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and the Westside Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. We grieve with the greater Knoxville community over the tragic loss of two individuals and the injuries suffered by six others. We know that, for those who survive, healing will take time, and will be nourished by love. In that spirit, with respect for one another, and kindness, we invite your contributions.

-- Deborah Weiner
UUA Director of Electronic Communication

615 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 400 of 615   Newer›   Newest»
Leon Bryant, San Antonio, TX said...

There are no perfect words, but there is perfect silence. I am holding all of you in that silent space in my heart. Hold on.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in the Knoxville UU community is in my thoughts and prayers.

I am so sorry that you have had to deal with this tragedy.

May you all find peace...

Paula Lesso said...

Carolyn McDade's words have filled my mind, heart and soul since hearing the news:

Spirit of Life
Come unto me
Sing in my heart
All the stirrings of compassion
Blow in the wind
Rise in the sea
Move in the hand
Giving life the shape of justice
Roots hold me close
Wings set me free
Spirit of life
Come to me
Come to me

~Paula Lesso

Sending love from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton, New York

Maria Bareiss said...

Out of the love and compassion in my heart for all, including those who are very different from me, I will work harder for peace and social justice in memory of the congregation and community in Knoxville, TN. We in the relatively liberal northeast can forget that it can be dangerous in other parts of the country to be visibly in support of progressive philosophies. It is easy to forget that to champion g/l/b/t rights possibly means to be sitting ducks to the mentally unstable and those filled with hatred. I will remain undaunted in the face of tragedy - I will continue to be a member of a Welcoming congregation, publicy, and I will make sure that every person who meets me knows I am a Unitarian Universalist whenever I can make it known. Spirit of Life,in all the ways you are known, bring compassion to this land. Blessed Be.

Anonymous said...

the children here send you all love and healing. we were gathered together planning our upcoming musical when we heard the horrible news. we had a moment of silence for you all. please know we will keep loving and singing, in your honor!

moonsownsister said...

To all the children of our UU family dealing with these horrific events:

Yes, this was a terrible action.
But please, please see: for every one such person who would do something to hurt you, how many hundreds are there of us who love you? Across the country, across the world, our hearts and arms are open to you. We are sending you light and love and healing and we want you to know that we care about you. You are loved. You are cherished. You are loved.

Kristi Iverson said...

Until yesterday, when I heard of your tragedy, I had not imagined physical harm might come to me - here in this free county - because of my liberal faith. But when I heard the news of the shootings, I realized that yes, my UU beliefs are something I would die for, if it came to that. I also realized that in this we share a common history of persecution with other faiths, places and times - a kinship I had not been consciously aware of.

I share with you here something my brother wrote after his granddaughter drowned in a hot springs pool in Wyoming on May 7, 2001:

Brother Death

How can I ignore my brother, Death? Once, he existed only in the abstract. I had read about him-read the stories, you know. In 1995, as my father neared the brink, I first heard his indistinct whispers. This year, for the first time, I heard his voice on May 7 and looked into his cold black eyes--eyes that reflect no light. Again, he murmured to me on September 11 as the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed.

I do not now like his song or the verse he carries, but he is my companion. He will follow me now, to remind me that I must always remember the Light. I know clearly that my days are numbered, that someday this brother of mine, whose breath I now run from, whose eyes now strike fear within me, will one day become my best friend and fold me beneath his wings, taking me wherever I must go when the time comes.

No, I cannot ignore him. Death is the other side of life. Without Death there is no birth, just as there can be no ecstasy without pain or beauty without ugliness. Though I may fear him now, he will become the means by which I judge my future, the guide who shall help me chose my path. We will come to know each other, and I will not be afraid. He is my brother.

10/4/01 1:38 AM--Ron Iverson

My meditations and prayers are with you day and night. May your healing be rich.

Kristi Iverson
Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, California

Anonymous said...

I had often thought of attending the TVUUC since moving to Knoxville four years ago, but had never been able to do so. My heart breaks for the sorrow and grief everyone in the congregation must feel, as you are all victims of a senseless crime bred out of misled hate and fear of the unknown. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you every minute of the day.

sarahp said...

This terrible act is reminding me the importance and true meaning of solidarity. To take the pain of another's as your own. We are together in the UU community, and in the community of humanity.

Anonymous said...

I am so sad that such an awful thing has happened to some of my sister and brother UU's. My thoughts are with you and will remain with you as you go through this time of tremendous grief. I can not even imagine how difficult this must be for your congregation. Please know you are all loved and have much support.

Linda Haynes
a UU sister in Springfield, IL

Anonymous said...

Dear brothers and sisters at TVUUC,
I send the deepest sympathy and prayers from myself and our church. Your loss and pain are deeply shared by our, and all other, UU congregations. This tragedy shows how important our message of love and acceptance is . . . and, unfortunately, how it can also be misconstrued.

Also, please care for the children who are the innocent victims of this horrible ordeal. Help support them through this time of shock and fear.

As someone stated earlier, "On this day we are all members of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church".

In faith, hope, and love,
Bruce Van Bronkhorst
Michael Servetus Unitarian Church
Fridley, MN

Chris Lowe said...

Thinking of you all with love and sympathy for your griefs. From afar it is clear that you have been and are a community of great love reaching out. May that sustain you and help you reaching inward, in supporting those touched most closely and harmed most deeply. May it help you to help your children, whose pain and bewilderment it is hard to imagine ... It is so unfair, you did not deserve this. We love you, and will love you through your sorrow, your pain, your anger, and, we hope, into renewed hope.

salani kahle,
Chris Lowe
Portland, Oregon

Molly said...

As a UU from Nashville, this shooting strikes a blow to my home and my heart. My greatest sympathy goes out to our brothers and sisters in Knoxville. Though I can't imagine the pain you're suffering, I only hope you can feel our support and love with you every day.

I hope that in the wake of this unthinkable tragedy, we can bond together, not fall apart. As we say when we light the candle at the beginning of service...let this flame affirm the light of truth, the warmth of community, and the fire of commitment.

May peace come to you.

Molly Thomas
Greater Nashville Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Nashville, TN

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for everyone's loss and have been thinking of everyone in that congregation since I heard of the UU Church shooting in Knoxville.

Kate, A UU in CA

Barbara said...

I was so sad to hear of the shooting at your church yesterday. The courageous and quick reaction of your members to the gunman was awesome. What hope I feel at the outpouring of love and support for you from so many. You are not alone in your grief. We are grieving with you. If there is any way we can help you, please let us know. Peace to you.
Barbara Cornell
Shoreline UU Church
Shoreline, WA

What is in a name? said...

In this hour of grief, my dear brothers in Knoxville, I wish I could reach you somehow. I wish I knew what to do to help bring you some peace, comfort, healing, light, courage and hope, the most resiliant of all words. My heart is broken, and today I have been in tears thinking of what is happening to you. You are all in my thoughts. Each person who is in hurt, each one of you who lost your friend, your relative, your dear one, each children in your fellowship whose world is no longer safe and pure, each soul who was violated when its deepest wish was to celebrate Life, and Life in abundance. I hold all of you in my heart and I send my prayers, my love, and many blessings, so you can all heal and find again that pure stream of living water within you, that sparkle of light we all share, even though darkness seems to be more powerful at the moment. My inner candle is lit and brightful for each one of you. For you are part of my family, and I love you very, very, very much.

I also wish to take a moment to hold the hand of whoever is reading this, and reaffirm our faith. In this world where we often judge too much, condemn too much, fight too much and love too less, we need to be brave and keep proclaiming to the world that there is hope. Against all kinds of hell some people might want to build in our society and in our minds, we need to be witnesses of the Light we know that is possible, if only we get together and commit ourselves to build it. Love is right here and right now, and he who is able to embrace it is truly free.

Today I proclaim with a spirit of praise: I believe in Life, and I believe it is abundant. I believe in the human spirit. I believe there is hope. I believe each heart has a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. I believe in the power of forgiveness. I believe in justice. I believe in compassion. I believe all things are redeemable when the light of reason and freedom touches them. I believe you and me and all human beings are entitled to walk their own path to find their true self, their highest, their inner truth. I believe this is a universal right, and a universal ability. I believe the truest and most important knowledge about ourselves and the world is only One, in spite of all frontiers of intolerance and ignorance. I truly believe, and I proclaim it, that there are many windows, but One Light. Most of all, I believe in LOVE.

May the Spirit of Life reach all of you in this day and may your inner flame burn bright and grow more and more. We, your brothers and friends, have our chalice lit for each one of you.

A tight and warm embrace from your brother who loves you more than what words can say,
Fábio Barbosa,
A Unitarian Universalist from CLF, living in the Azores, Portugal.

Anonymous said...

To the UU congregation in Tennessee from a Californian:
I am so sorry for the pain you must feel in the wake of the shooting.
I have not attended local UU services in a long time. Now I plan to return. I'm sure there will be a lot of people like me at UU services across the country on Sunday thinking about you. Wishing you peace.

Ireneplatz said...

As a relatively new UU, my heart and thoughts are with you, your families and congregation in this most difficult time. I felt like I have lost an extended member of my own family across the thousands of miles. Please know that we all love our fellow UU's and should you need anything, don't hestitate to ask through your minister or online. In dark times like this, it only makes me feel prouder to be a UU and know that we have to stand strong against those who harbor so much intolerance and hate, yet continue to spread our message of progress, tolerance and peace.

With much love,
Irene Yuan
Los Angeles, Ca.
(member of UU of Anaheim)
irene.yuan.lax@gmail.com

Byron said...

On behalf of our church, I extend to all of you -- hurt in so many ways -- our deepest sympathies for your pain and loss. We are truly sorry and heart-sore, and hold you tenderly in our prayers.

Byron Krystad
Board President
University Unitarian Church
Seattle, WA

Rev. Geoff Rimositis said...

The First Unitarian Church of San Jose, California sends their love and support. Here is a prayer that I sent my congregation today.


The world changed forever today.
Sanctuary was violated.
A community is in shock and mourning and will never be the same.
Evil crossed their door and did the unspeakable- -brought in hate and took out life.
Unitarian Universalists the world over feel the pain as if it had happened to them--
for we know our connections are strong no matter how far we are from each other.
What can we do when such tragedy befalls us?
How can we make meaning out of the senseless?
We pray. We open our hearts.
We send our love to our sisters and brothers in Knoxville
and let them know that they are not alone.
We are with them in their suffering.
We are with them in their healing.
And as long as we have breath we will make of our lives an instrument of peace.
Where there is hatred we will sow love.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Grieve we must. But then we go on living
doing what we can to make the world a better place for all of us.
Be strong my friends.
Remember you are not alone.
Blessed Be. Amen. Shalom. Salaam.

Georgia Thomas said...

It has been my pleasure to learn about the UU faith - via the NWCUUC in Houston, TX. I have found UUs to be warm, intelligent, thoughtful, open-minded and open-hearted individuals – some of the best people that it has been my good fortune to come to know.

I am deeply saddened by this horrific act of violence. I send my loving thoughts to those harmed in this tragedy, and I pray that eventually love will win out over hate.

Scott Bowen said...

I'm not a member of the UU, but I know many people who are and they have been of great help and comfort to me in times of my trouble. I feel deeply for those who have lost loved ones in this terrible incident, for those who have been injured and for the violation of your sacred space by this violence.

SW said...

Unitarians all over the country are praying for you and offer our sympathy. As a religion that is inclusive to all, it is unfathomable that someone could hold such contempt. Clearly we need to continue with our universal mission of peace and goodwill. My heart goes out to you at this most difficult time.

Evelyn said...

We express our thoughts and condolences from Naples, Italy. We have attended many different UU congregations around the country including Norfolk VA, Denver CO Boulder CO, Ventura CA and Richmond KY. Everywhere, we have found an open and engaging community of people committed to hope, love, justice and decency. We are particularly disturbed to find that it is these values that came under assault on 27 Jul. We greive with the families of those lost, keep hope for those injured and the children who had to endure such violent acts and stand in solidarity with people of all faiths (or no faith) who continue to champion those values which a gunman can attack, but never destroy.

With love from Naples, Italy

LT Jeff Williams, USN
Evelyn DeNardo
Rowan William

Yvonne said...

My heart goes out to the Tennessee Valley UU community. It is terrible that people should be killed for being inclusive and loving people who were actively working for the community. My condolences to the families and the community, and they are in my thoughts and prayers.

Blessed be
Yvonne
(Wiccan Unitarian)
Frenchay Chapel, Bristol, UK

Sean Honea said...

I am so sorry. Know, that we are with you; you are not alone in this.

Sean Honea
UNC Chapel Hill UU / future Starr Kinger.

Kate from UUCL (PA) said...

Sing Me to Heaven
Tonight I was with a group of singers and asked if we could start our rehearsal by singing this for all those in pain and sorrow at TVUU. I hope it helps bring some comfort. I was smiling and singing and crying all at the same time. This link is to a recording I found on youtube (thank you ssanf) followed by the text.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CODZZPbLxg

In my heart’s sequestered chambers lie truths stripped of poet’s gloss.
Words alone are vain and vacant and my heart is mute.
In response to aching silence memory summons half heard voices,
and my soul finds primal eloquence and wraps me in song. wraps me in song.
If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby.
If you would win my heart, sing me a love song.
If you would mourn me and bring me to God, sing me a requiem, sing me to heaven.
Touch in me all love and passion, pain and pleasure.
Touch in me grief and comfort, love and passion, pain and pleasure.
Sing me a lullaby, a love song, a requiem.
Love me, comfort me, bring me to God.
Sing me a love song, sing me to heaven.

Terra said...

Our thoughts, prayers and hearts go out to the community of Knoxville. I can't begin to imagine what you all must be going through, but know that you are safe, loved and protected in the arms of the Divine!

Much love and peace to you all

Mark said...

We are deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy and our hearts and thoughts will remain with all of those affected by it. If our world has reached the point where those who celebrate diversity and the equality of all persons have become martyrs to the cause of personal liberation, there is clearly more need than ever for us to keep the chalice flame alight.

Mark Albright
Social Action Chair
UUC of the Lehigh Valley (PA)

Anonymous said...

My heart is broken.

pastorbecca said...

My deepest condolences to your congregations. In the wake of this violence, the people of St. Paul's United Methodist Church (Castleton-on-Hudson, NY) are praying with you.

May the spirit of the Holy One work in each of you and in the heart of the shooter as well, bringing healing and peace.

With love and hope,
Rev. Becca Clark
St. Paul's United Methodist Church

Vicky said...

Even after going through a tragedy like Katrina, it's still hard for us to know what to say. We wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you.

Vicky Marshall-Beasley
Ron Beasley
First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans

elyse said...

I am truly saddened by the events on Sunday. We are a family and what touches one of us touches all of us.My heart goes out to all of you in Knoxville. Know that you are not alone during this time of need.
Elyse

Palmtreeprayers said...

Praying for peace and healing for all during this time. I love the UU tradition and all it stands for; may we keep working together for a just and loving world.

Ellen said...

Love, Sympathy, Tears, Peace, Anger. Love.

There are so many ways our society could move toward being a more peaceful place. Beginning with free pre-natal care for every woman at the start of life, and moving on to gun control, at the "end" of this story. And all that lies between.

These are the songs fleeting through my mind as I read about this:
Spirit of Life
Hymn #1
Doxology (UU versions)

From Ellen A. of All Souls UU Church, New London, Connecticut

Anonymous said...

We hope you feel the warmth and love of community as we hold you in our thoughts and prayers.

Joy and Brian
UU Waco

Anonymous said...

I write on behalf of Unitarians in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland to express our sadness and concern at the tragic events that occurred yesterday at your church.

There is no meaning or sense to such disturbing events and one is left with conflicted feelings of anger and dismay.

The only thing to hold on to, in the midst of such an experience and the aftermath, is that we can hold on to each other and affirm the web of love and compassion that unifies us even in such dark moments.

It is especially troubling that this disturbing and dehumanising act occurred in the midst of an act of worship which deserves to be a safe and life-affirming occasion.

We all have too much experience of violence and know it is not some abstract concept but a dehabilitating disease that has here tragically resulted in loss of life.

Know that we will join people everywhere in holding you all in our thoughts and prayers believing that the spiritual love and energy we can send towards Knoxville may be of some solace and support to you now and in the days ahead.


Yours in love and faith,

Rev Steve Dick
Chief Executive

General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches

karen b-g said...

I recently heard an interview with UU Minister Kate Braestrup, who works on search and rescue missions with the game wardens in Maine. She spoke of meeting with families whose loved ones are missing, hurt, or worse, and confronting the question, "Where is God in this tragedy?" Her answer is that God is in the human connections, in the human responses to the tragedy, in the support and love and tuna casseroles and outreached hands of friendship and fellowship. Brothers and sisters in Knoxville, know that God, and Love, and Hope have not left you; may you find strength in the bonds of your congregation, in the outpouring of compassion from across the faith spectrum, and from those points of human connection which illuminate a love more transcendent than the hateful actions you have suffered.

in faith,
Karen B-G
Director of Religious Education, Keene, N.H.
and Member, Unitarian Society of Northampton

marda said...

During times of grief and trajedy, I have found comfort in the poem below. I hope that the members and friends of the TVUU Church are able to find comfort during this horrible time.
In peace and solidarity,
Marda Chahbazi
UU Church of Flint, Michigan

And, when the stream
Which overflowed the soul was passed away,
A consciousness remained that it had left,
Deposited upon the silent shore
Of memory, images and precious thoughts,
That shall not die, and cannot be destroyed.

Taken From The Excursion Book Seventh The Churchyard among the Mountains
William Wordsworth

Anonymous said...

It makes me so sad to know that fellow UUs were punished and targeted for being a beacon of acceptance. For being a safe space for oppressed groups. I hope that you can recreate that sanctuary again.

Judith said...

From all of our congregation at The First UU of West Volusia, Florida, we are in stunned pain for all involved in the terrible event and those who will be affected as the ripple from the violence spreads. We can only offer our meager comments of sorry and that our hearts are in pain for all. Judith Southard, Pres.

Cheryl said...

“We are a gentle and loving people and we are singing, singing for our lives,” is a favorite hymn of our UU Montgomery, Alabama congregation. However, UUs have proven once again that our choice to be non-violent, loving and compassionate is not based on some inner flaw that results from a fatal softness of character. To the contrary, our individual moral convictions ultimately unify us into a diverse loving family, with the courage and strength to face the hatred and fear of our differences. We can accept even those who would persecute us. This has been clearly evidenced by our brothers and sisters in Nashville, Tennessee this past Sunday. We all love you deeply.

Cheryl Lynn Moyer
Social Justice Chair
UU Montgomery, Alabama

blog-of-cool said...

Dear TVUUC:
You are all in my prayers. In this world, evil is unfortunately not uncommon, and tragedies such as this happen far too often.
"God is our refuge and strength,a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change,though
the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult."

(Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Psalm 46.1-3)

Much love,
Maggie
(Unitarian Universalist Church of Fairfax)

Nance said...

The actions TVUUC members in the face of such danger and now grief give me hope.

A brave man took a bullet for others…his injury and death gave others important moments to reach or dive for safety.

Nobody pulled a gun out of their pocket or purse to take the gunman’s life. Instead, the gunman was tackled, disarmed, and left uninjured by congregants. He was handed into the arms of justice.

It was reported that the gunman shouted “hateful things.” But those present have not sought the lime light by giving further words and voice to his anger. The visuals in the media are of people hugging and giving each other loving support.

Two members gave thanks to Second Presbyterian on national TV for all their help and support.

These were and are amazing actions.

Thank you for showing us all a way to live our faith with such dignity and courage.

Nancy S, a UU in Marquette

Rev. Lee Bluemel said...

The entire congregation of The North Parish of North Andover, MA, is holding you all in our thoughts, prayers, and meditations. We send our condolences and our wishes for healing. We stand with you in solidarity to promote liberal religious values and to heal the world of violence.

Jim and Sandy Hannum said...

We are sad and alarmed at the needless violence and loss you have suffered. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this time of mourning.

Jim and Sandy Hannum
UU Church of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to the UU community in Knoxville. I visited your church in the spring while on vacation and was warmly welcomed. What a shock to have violence touch such a loving community. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Goddess bless,
Amy

Unitarian Univ. Church of Greater Lansing (Michigan)

Beth said...

The Olsson family in Roswell, GA is shocked and grieved by this tragedy. We hold TVUUC in our hearts today and send healing wishes of peace and comfort.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for what happened to you and your families. I don't understand why anyone would want to hurt Unitarian Universalists. They are the kindest people I know. May blessings and peace be upon you, and may healing come. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Jo Leary Logan, UT.

passinthru said...

You're in our thoughts and prayers, today, and to come. Our family and the folks from Arden, DE are thinking of you.

themikejones said...

My heart goes out to my friends and family back home in Knoxville. It's a lovely church filled with best people I've ever met. Together we can heal.

Mike Jones

Anonymous said...

We are so very saddened to hear of yet another hateful crime. Our hearts goes out to you in Knoxville. Sending love and praying for peace.

Mike and Trish Konopka
Countryside UU Church
Palatine, IL

Fa Liang said...

Our sangha expresses heartfelt sadness and offers its support to our sisters and brothers of the TVUUC in Knoxville.

As we continually strive together to achieve peace, may we remember those who have been treated unjustly, and vow to help relieve the suffering of both oppressor and oppressed.

In sympathy,
Rev. Fa Liang Shakya, OHY
Cherry Tree Zen Buddhist Sangha
Oak Ridge, TN

jdslavin said...

May you find solace and comfort in one another. May any feelings of hurt or anger melt away. You are all in the thoughts of many, and we wish you peace.

Jessie & Steve said...

I am deeply saddened by this act of hateful violence in a place of solace and comfort. My deepest condolences for your congregation.

Anonymous said...

On behalf of the UU Church at Washington Crossing in Titusville, NJ, I extend our love and support to our brothers and sisters in faith.

Our sense of connectedness to the greater Unitarian Universalist Community has never been stronger, and we hope that members and friends of the Knoxville congregation feel the power of our love and our prayers.

In faith,

Pam Shadzik
President, Board of Trustees
UU Church at Washington Crossing

Anonymous said...

Peace and love to the Knoxville community and the Unitarian Universalist churches. We were at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with over 3,000 youth for our National Youth Event for UCC. On the evening of the tragic event one of our youth wrote a prayer and delivered it and lit candle of hope for all of you to our gathered assembly for worship. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Marleen said...

The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Carbondale, Ill., adds it deepest condolences. We are adding Knoxville UU to our prayer list, and I also wanted to let you know how much we value our local Unitarian congregation's courageous stances on social justice and GLBT inclusion. You all need to know at this time how much the UU voice is appreciated in those communities it serves, both large and small.

David Hughes said...

My deepest wishes and prayers for emotional healing to all our brothers and sisters at UU Knoxville. It is ironic that we UU's, who try to be tolerant of all beliefs, would be struck by such an act of intolerance.

David Hughes, UUCWC, NJ

John Shuck said...

PFLAG Tri-Cities (Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol) TN sends its condolences and love to the UUs in Knoxville. We appreciate the stand you have taken for LGBTQ people in our area and now stand with you.

John Shuck, Secretary
PFLAG Tri-Cities

Bill Brunner said...

We are shocked and saddened by the tragic events in Knoxville. Our hearts and prayers go out the grieving families and community. We also offer our support for and solidarity with all UU members and congregations. All faith communities that seek peace and justice are with you in this hour.

Bill Brunner, member
Fountain Street Church
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Terri Willingham said...

Our thoughts of love and heartfelt condolence join the river of compassion pouring your way.

The Willingham Family
Spirit of Life UU
Odessa, FL

Anonymous said...

From UUmontgomery, Al, our most heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to all the congregants in Knoxville. This horrible event only proves that our message of tolerance must be spread. When the healing begins, we, as UU's must work harder to foster tolerance in our communities. I believe in the healing power of love; I have experienced it in my own life. All my love goes out to the victims of this sad event.

Michael Taylor
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
of Montgomery, Al

Edna W. said...

When I heard about the shooting yesterday, I felt that someone had opened fire on my family. My UU family. My heart and prayers are with the Tennessee Valley UU congregation, as are the hearts and prayers of all UU's and so many other people. I am a UU who is blessed to have been raised as such (at Cedar Lane Church in Bethesda, MD, a wonderful UU congregation) and in the past few years I've really come full circle "home" to UU-ism, as the deep realization has hit me that my UU upbringing instilled in me all the aspects of myself about which I am most proud, including respect for all creation, tolerance and celebration of diversity yet a keen awareness of the universal qualities that we all have in common, a questioning mind and heart, the courage to speak up in dissent if I feel it is called for, openness to new ideas, and so many other things that are hard to put into words but that have become a part of my very DNA and that I profoundly cherish as my deepest values.

If only the shooter had been taught those same values as a child, and felt the same love and acceptance from his church community as I was so blessed to take for granted as a child from mine, he probably wouldn't have committed such a violent act.

All we can do in the face of being targetted by hate is to continue to love and to do good. I work in a blood bank and, on 9/11, when it seemed that evil had taken the reigns and God had left the scene, I remember looking over the overlook into our large lobby and seeing it full of people lining up to donate blood. The lines extended out the door, into the parking lot, and around the corner farther than my eye could see. This crowd of people eager to help had formed within an hour of the planes hitting the twin towers. They restored my faith that day, as I realized that, yes, there is great evil in this world, but there is even more good. And the good will shout down the evil, every time. As UU's, we must continue to meet evil with good, continue to promote respect, tolerance, finding common ground, social justice, civility, love, openness, and questioning hearts and minds. For in a world filled with those things, hate withers. As Ghandi said in my favorite quote of all time, "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." So, even though an act like this shooting deeply shakes our faith, and/or scares us, and/or tempts us to become bitter, we must choose to continue to be the change we wish to see in the world. To my hurting, beautiful fellow UU's of the Tennesee Valley Church, everyone in your UU family across the country and world is sending you love, light, support and prayers. May you feel this healing energy and take strength from it. We love you. There really aren't words to let you know just how much you are in our hearts, but I hope you know somehow anyway.

Christopher said...

A sanctuary should be both a safe and a holy place to the church members. My own religious journey found a wonderful home in the sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas. How sadly ironic that the gunman met a message of love, acceptance, and helpfulness with a message of violence and despair.

I grieve with everyone at TVUUC, not only for those injured or killed, but for the damage done to that sense of safety and holiness. I promise to keep everyone involved in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

I attended TVUU when I was an undergraduate at UTK. I offer my condolences and support. I know the wonderful loving congregation will overcome this. I offer my thoughts and prayers for each and everyone touched by this.

becky johnson said...

My deepest sympathies for you folks out in Knoxville. The UU church has been a safe place for so many who have felt abandoned. I feel so bad to see that that safe place has been violated for you folks. Best wishes for your spiritual/emotional healing. You all deserve all the outpouring of love that can be offered.

Anonymous said...

Our local newspaper asked us if we were going to change how we welcomed strangers into our service after the tragedy in Knoxville. I told them that any changes would violate our core beliefs and that we would work harder to be a place of love and acceptance rather than a barren space in which hate is sown. You have our love, our deepest sympathies, and a good measure of our spiritual attention.

Muncie, IN

Anonymous said...

Dear friends, I was shocked by the news story of your catastrophe. Then appalled. Then discouraged. This hatred has wounded me too, a little. I send you loving thoughts and energy.
Iain Goddard
Northshore UU Church
Danvers, MA

Shellie said...

Though we are all trying as hard as we can, there is no way that those of us who weren't there could ever really understand what you all have endured, or what you will continue to endure, as you contend with what you suffered last Sunday morning.

What I keep seeing, as I read these messages of love, is that many of us are acutely aware of the fact that it could have been us. It could have been our churches, our brave friends, our frightened children. It could have been any of us, because this didn't happen because the TVUUC is a UU church. It happened because there are sad, angry, sick, broken people in this world.

I search and search for something I can do to support you, and especially your children, in this terrible time, and all that I can think of to do, is to offer support to the sad, angry, broken people in this world. If there is something that we can do for you, there are thousands of us who are ready to help -- please, just say the word and we'll be so happy to help however you ask -- but for now, I'll start with a contribution to a community mental health agency.

Know that my family holds your congregation deep in our hearts and thoughts and that our congregation is holding a service for you on Wed. night at 7:00.

With love,

Shellie Rich and family
Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis

Meghan said...

When I read the news about the shooting on my church listserv, I was shocked, grief stricken, sick. I part of me thought nothing like this could ever happen at a UU sanctuary. Because that’s what it is, and what my church UUCSS has been for me. Post 9/11, post DC sniper, I longed for a place to find solace from the violence that seemed to be plaguing my city. It took a while, but I found it. I pray that that feeling of sanctuary does not leave those of TVUUC. To all of TVUUC, know that my heart and my prayers are with you in these difficult days. I pray that you can find solace in the greater sanctuary of the entire UU community.

Rev. Kirk Loadman-Copeland said...

The members and friends of the First Universalist Church of Denver, Colorado stand in love and sympathy with all the people of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. We mourn the death of Linda Kraeger of Westside UU Church and Greg McKendry of TVUUC. We pray for the full recovery of those who were injured and for the healing that lies ahead for all in both congregations. May you continue to stand on the side of love in the face of such hatred, and may those who hate be transformed by your love.

Rev. Kirk Loadman-Copeland,
Senor Minister

Anonymous said...

I grieve with you. May healing light and comfort surround you and fill your hearts. I grieve for this society that so much hatred can exist in someone that would lead him to such an incomprehensible act.

Janice White said...

Our hearts are heavy for the injustice against your church family and all UUs. This has effected so many inside and out of our church families. Please know that love surrounds and embrasses you.

Janice and Stan White
UU Church Spartanburg, SC

Starr Austin said...

I am very sorry for your losses and the trauma this has caused your congregation, particularly your children. I keep thinking how it would affect me if that had happened in my UU congregation in Fayetteville, AR. It saddens me beyond belief and I can't imagine how difficult this must be. I am holding you all in my thoughts and prayers and sending energy for healing.

sara said...

I'm filled with shock and sorrow to hear of this horrible attack.

I wish peace for your congregation and families during this difficult time.

frankphoto said...

My heart is heavy with sadness over this tragic event and the loss and pain that the families of the two congregations in Tennessee are enduring. I have talked to fellow U.U.'s about the need to learn how to discuss our differences and commonalities with conservative communities. I think this is an important time to work on opening the lines of communication and meeting with people who fear and distrust progressive's like us in an open and respectful venue.

Frank Muller
First Unitarian Society of Ithaca

LJ said...

Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this terrible time of trauma, grief and loss. The song "We are gentle, angry people and we are singing for our lives" (#170)was a very good choice for your service. By singling out this UU congregation because of its convictions and courage to act on them - he has attacked us all as UU's. We all stand with you in anger and pain and your determination to overcome this hideous act.
Peace be with you,
LJ
High Street Unitarian Universalist Church, Macon, Georgia

JLGT said...

I am a member of the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. I have never been more proud to be a LIBERAL Unitarian. Today, my prayers are with the victims and their families that they may find courage and peace. We honor your community.

Jo Lane Thomas

Anonymous said...

I was mortified when I saw the news about the tragedy in your church. I hurt to the heart for your congregation. The only place I ever feel safe is in a UU church.
Gail in Colorado

Alice said...

From a Blacksburg UU Youth, I am so incredibly sorry. I know what it's like to have your community torn by an act of senseless hatred, and it is possibly one of the hardest things to overcome. But just as I have experenced what one man with a gun can do, I've also seen the unity and strength that has resulted. It is not easy, but it gets easier with time and with community. Have faith that you will rise above and become an even greater, even more loving congregation after this tragedy. Let the UU message shine through the hatred, stay strong.
Having experienced a shooting in our own community, we sought saftey and comfort in our sancutary. But having a shooting in that place, that sacred space, that home, I could never even comprehend.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, for right now and for the months to come. & My heart goes out to you, my friends.

Love, Strength & my deepest Sympathy,
Alice

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your congregation at this time of sorrow.

Randy Arnold,
Moderator
Christ Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
Denver

Sue Parilla said...

As UUs, we raise our children in the church of the open mind, loving heart and helping hands. We will all be attempting to explain this violent episode to our young people. May we find the words to enable them to continue to live their UU values and keep love and hope in their hearts.
Condolences and love to the members and families of TVUUC.
-Sue Parilla
Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden, CO

wilhelmina-d said...

My deepest sympathies and the sympathies of the Wiccan coven Chantry of the Green Mountain are yours. Blessing be upon all of those affected by this terrible tragedy.

Sincerely,
Linda Taggart

Eli Briggs said...

I can only imagine the sense of violation being felt in Knoxville. I feel like this could have happened at any of our churches, because we speak out on issues that are controversial. I am proud to be a UU but feel sick that this hatred entered a sacred space and caused all this suffering.

-Eli Briggs
UU Church of Silver Spring, MD

Julie Porter said...

I was stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the horrible tragedy in Knoxville. My heart goes out the the members and friends of the Knoxville UU community. I send healing wishes and prayers to all those affected. Know that your UU sisters and brothers across the country are with you in support and love.

Julie Porter
DRE, First Parish in Framingham, MA

Dan Tuft said...

My heart goes out to the Tennessee Valley UU Church community, the individuals, parents, and children impacted by this horrific shooting. Please know that UUs across the miles and those nearby are reaching out to you in support. I am a member of the UU Church of Washington Crossing, Titusville, NJ.
Dan Tuft

Cathy said...

We here in West Virginia wanted to let you know that we are holding you all in our hearts - both the two UU congregations affected so directly by the loss of a loved one and innocence, and our entire UU community, which has learned that we can be so deeply affected by violence and hatred.

Let us use our grief, hurt and anger as our energy source for our message of love and healing - and let us hold each other gently.

Cathy from the New River UU Fellowship, Beckley, WV

Kathryn Duke said...

My deepest sympathy and support to all of you in the Knoxville UU congregation and community. Those of us who have lost family members to gun violence feel a special bond with you as you struggle to cope with your sudden loss and to find some meaning and hope in moving forward with your lives and your faith. I pray for all of you, and also for the family of the man who was so troubled that he could commit this unspeakable act, in a church.

Anonymous said...

Here in Johnson City, TN, at Holston Valley UUC we heard of the news the same day, and the same day a vigil was held at 7 pm. Rev. Luck from our congregation was personally present in Knoxville. The minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton and some members of that congegation joined us, and they will be holding a candlelight service on Wednesday, July 30th at 7 p.m.
Multiple acts of violence have been in the news in recent times, but in some way they still felt very remote, though this time, when the incident has been next door to us, and involving a sister congregation, the pain and sorrow I feel is much deeper. At the vigil there were 3-4 people who have been active at TVUUC, one of them fairly recently, and we could deeply share in her distress. In sharing these difficulties in some way we become more aware of how interconnected we are. May we together walk the path of healing.

Franklin Montenegro
Member of HVUUC
Johnson City, TN

Ellen Carvill-Ziemer said...

We often sing Holly Near's "Singing for Our Lives". Today I find myself singing "It Could Have Been Me" originally written memorializing the students shot at Kent State, Victor Jara, Harvey Milk, and Karen Silkwood:

It could have been me, but instead it was you
So I'll keep doing the work you were doing as if I were two
I'll be a student of life, a singer of songs, a farmer of foods, and a righter of wrongs
It could have been me, but instead it was you
And it may be me dear sisters and brothers before we are through
But if you can work for freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom
If you can work for freedom
I can too.

It could have been me. It could have been any of us. We are standing together and we will not stop standing up for justice and speaking up for change -- we will stand with courage, conviction, love, and compassion in the face of hatred, fear, bigotry, and violence.

We will remember Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger and we will remember the courage, action and love of the Tennessee Valley UU Church.

Sara said...

I was saddened to hear of this terrible tragedy to your church. It is unbelievable that someone can feel so much hate toward their fellow man or woman, just because of differing beliefs. I pray for your church and congregation, that God may give you strength to get through this horrible tragedy and may it also give you strength to know that there are many people in the world that care. God bless you all.

Pamela Balabuszko-Reay said...

From our hymnal- Reading 473.

Love is the spirit of this church,
and service its law.
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love,
And to help one another.

James Vila Blake

May you all feel the love from your church, our church. May peace return to you all. We will all serve together to help you.

With my deepest sympathy,
Pamela Balabuszko-Reay
First Universalist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your community in this time of shock and grief. May you know peace and healing together as you mourn your loss.

-Sara
Midwest, USA

Ginna said...

As we sat in our nearly 200 year old "meeting house" Sunday morning refreshing our history you were suffering horribly. We were told the story of how our pews face the front doors in case of Indian attacks. It seemed so unlikely that anyone would enter to attack today. But with your attack we were attacked. Regardless of pews ,we must all face forward today to the time we have a dept. of Peace in our government and non violent communication everywhere. We love you. We bless you and I am wearing a black arm band in mourning and to show what liberal love is to the world.
Ginna Shapiro, U.U. church of athens and sheshequin (Pa.

Anonymous said...

I will follow the Rev. Chris Buice's simple heartfelt request to "please pray for this congregation."

I am praying for the congregation and I am praying for you, Chris. May you all be graced to receive what each of you need to grieve and to heal.

God bless this congregation and their ministry with a deeper knowledge of the blessing and power of their ministry which continues to be a beacon of hope and an agent for good in this hurting world.

The Rev. Will Feinberg
Hospice Care Network, Woodbury, NY
UU Fellowship of Huntington, NY

Fred said...

Looking out on the peaceful blue waters of Penobscot Bay in Maine, I am moved to tears by the courage and suffering of my brothers and sisters in Knoxville. You remind us of the risk we run daily in our public witness for justice and compassion and the terrible price we must sometimes pay. Thank you for keeping the faith--our faith as Unitarian Universalists and the faith of people everywhere in the possibility of a kinder, more loving world. Our hearts go out to you.

Rev. Fred Small
First Church Unitarian, Littleton, MA

Anonymous said...

Condolences to the entire congregation in Knoxville.
Linda

Anonymous said...

Profound condolences to all in the Knoxville congregation at this time from an English Unitarian

Anonymous said...

Sunday's service at Bull Run UU in Manassas, VA was moving and uplifting. My spirit sang along with the voices as we contemplated peace, love, and understanding. It was sobering to later learn that, at the same time, members of our denomination in Tennessee were being shot. It is a great joy that our fellow UUs took action and saved lives. It is a great sorrow that it appears the motivation for the shooting was that we love too much--that we would dare to be inclusive.

I will continue to love and to include. This event gives strength to my spine.

May you find serenity.

Sara from Gettysburg said...

From "The Heart of a Buddha":

In separateness, lies the world's great suffering;
In unity, lies the world's true strength.

Please know the UU's in Gettysburg share your pain and suffering and we send you love, the strenth to endure through these difficult times, and the hope for a better future.

JoAnn said...

Dear UU friends,
My heart reaches out to you across the stars at night, with hugs to gently wrap you in loving kindness.
In faith, JoAnn
Marlborough-Hudson UU Church, MA

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to all of you in Knoxville - you know that the thoughts & prayers of UU's all around the world are focussed on you right now. I am also grateful and proud beyond words of the actions of this congregation. I work with children in our UU church, and have children of my own. My first reaction, after the horror, to this news was concern that my children and others might be afraid to go to their own church. The heroic actions of the Tenessee Valley congregation have made it possible for us to tell our children, “The adults did everything possible, including putting their own lives on the line, to keep the children safe. And now this man is in jail and isn’t getting out.” Because of their actions, UU children everywhere can still feel safe in church in spite of this terrible tragedy. Thank you, Greg McKendry and those who subdued this guy before he could do any further harm. Words cannot express my gratitude. Those who mistake pacifism for weakness should take note.

Kan said...

TVUUC has given so much to my family and I over the years. I am holding everyone in the extended church community in my heart. Although some of us are scattered, we all considered TVUUC our home while we lived in Knoxville. Love, Kandra (part of the youth group from 1991 - 1994)

Rev. Scotty McLennan, UU Church of Palo Alto, CA said...

What terrible pain. As former UUA President Paul Carnes said, after tragic death, life will never be the same again. Such loss can be met only with our deep grief, through which love can slowly assert its dominance. There are many of us across the country with you in our grief and our love.

Anonymous said...

I was in church when this happened, listening to Scott talk about aging well. I lost my job in February, and get solace from attending my UU congregation. I am deeply saddened and send my thoughts and well wishes to all connected to TVUUC. I am also fiercely proud to be a UU and proud of the congregation's response to this evil at their door. Those who peacefully subdued this man should be proud to have saved his life. I was wearing my chalice necklace on Sunday and I will wear it all week. Every time I touch it I will be thinking of U.

Dianne Rhodes
River Road UU Congregation, Bethesda MD

Anonymous said...

Our love and compassion are with you, our brothers and sisters in faith.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach received news of the attack as we were beginning our worship service on Sunday and we incorporated an announcement and time of prayer in our service.

Please know that we stand with you through this sad time. May you find strength in the loving embrace of all people of goodwill. May we stand together in our UU faith as we move forward with the conviction that now, more than ever, we need to bring our love and saving message of hope and justice to a world in need of healing.

With love,
Tamara Casanova Suzuki, DRE/seminarian
UU Church of Long Beach, CA

matt said...

Please accept our prayers for healing from UUs in Laramie, Wyoming. We are proud to stand with you.

Anonymous said...

This tragedy has saddened my husband and I so much. As greeters for our church, I am more fearful, I admit that. I also struggle with the idea that this man was angry with our faith because we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all- even him. It's such a paradox that if he'd asked for help, he likely would have gotten it.

We have lit candles for you all.

A Fellow UU

Neil Goldstein said...

Our candlelight vigil last night in support of our sisters and brothers in Tennessee was a sad but healing event. One of the hardest aspects was hearing that some of our children were asking whether it was safe to go to church. Let us resolve to continue working for justice and peace, so that everyone may be safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with the suffering people in Tennessee.

Neil Goldstein
UU Church of Delaware County
Media PA

Jordan Stratford+ said...

ndraTo the families and friends of those who find themselves wandering through the fog of tragedy, know that there are lamps lit that you may find your way to a place of boundless compassion and nourishing comfort.

Jordan+

melsmom said...

Our thoughts are with you. We are all deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy. There are no words to express our good wishes for the families and the congregation. Please post if there is a support fund for the families, so we can contribute.

Labrys said...

I am not Unitarian, but as a simple, solitary pagan who is considering becoming Unitarian...let me say I grieve with you. I commend the courage shown by your members in stopping this disturbed and hate-filled man from accomplishing all his goals of death and destruction. I will walk my Labyrinth in memory of your courage and your suffering and grief. I am so very sorry for your loss, and so very proud people such as your congregation are still in my world.

Leslie said...

As a mother and a member of UUA, it was with horror that I heard the story of the tragedy.
I've been visiting Knoxville for the last year and a half and was always struck by the warmth and generosity of the people I've met.
I know these traits will be used to help heal the trauma of the shooting.
My deepest blessings and healing energy are pouring out to all of these affected.

Anonymous said...

Our hearts are so sad over this senseless act of violence. Our prayers go out to the families involved, you are in our thoughts. As parents to two young children this has hit so close to our hearts.
May you find peace,

The Gutzler Family
First UU Church of Berks County
Reading, PA

Anonymous said...

It was horrifying to hear this happened in a sanctuary where people hope for good faith and sweet harmony.

That the children were a witness is especially hard. The people of Knoxville have a special place in my blessings this day and will remain in my heart.

Peace now - Love always
Gig Harbor, Washington

Anonymous said...

You are in our hearts and prayers.
-Josh Stallings, Neighborhood Church, Pasadena Calif

Barb Rodman said...

The Kraegers and the Barnharts left Denton TX and the Denton UU Fellowship barely one year ago, sent off to Tennessee with the support and love of friends who'd known them for several decades. Victoria and Chloe Chavez were members of the RE groups in our fellowship and loved by many of us. We are saddened and filled with compassion and grief at this news and send them our love, grateful for the support and understanding they're receiving from the UUA and the Tennessee churches.

Barb Rodman

Anonymous said...

My heartfelt love and hUUgs to the Knoxville community, Liza, and her family and friends during this time of recovery. If there is anything we can do, please let us know. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers,

Barb and Ron Perlik
BRUU

Anonymous said...

Ever since the announcement was made at the beginning of our service Sunday morning, the TVUUC has been in my thoughts. Yesterday I couldn’t stop reading more and more about this terrible event, and getting sadder and sadder. Today, I was directed here and as I read more and more I find myself filled with - maybe not happiness - but hope. I’m a new UU, but I’ve never been prouder of this faith than I am today reading the outpouring of love and support for the victims, for their families, for the entire church and, remarkably, even for the shooter. It’s one thing to say that we affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person – it’s another thing to manage to do so even when that person has done such a horrific thing to us.

I add my message of sympathy and love to the hundreds of others here and hope it will help in some tiny way.

Amanda Lawrence
All Souls UU Church
Shreveport, LA

Joy-Ellen said...

My heart is saddened by this tragedy. But, it hardens my resolve to try to bring about peace in this world through interfaith work. I hope this act of violence spurs another discussion around guns, violence and the emotionally disturbed.

I will say a prayer and healing mantras for the families and the members of the congregation.
Joy-Ellen Lipsky
First Unitarian Church of San Jose, California

Anonymous said...

To the Knoxville UU,
I hope that you find comfort and support in this dark time. My prayers and thoughts are with you always. Many Blessings to you and your families.

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts are with you. I am so sorry that your church is going through such a tragedy. Our thoughts are particularly with the children of your congregation.

My daughter would like to say to the children of your church:

I'm sorry your play was ruined. What happened must have been scary. I'm glad you're OK.

Anonymous said...

The UU Church of Jackson, Mississippi, holds our brothers and sisters at TVUUC in our hearts and prayers. We are deeply saddened and grief-stricken at this act of violence. We will light a candle of hope, comfort, and healing for you all.
Gwen Combs
President

Robert Herzog said...

TVUU members, friends and family-You have my sympathy and condolences. Let us all work together to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.

Robert Herzog
Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship

Anonymous said...

May you sense my tears. May you feel my prayers. May you realize our love.
Marion
Chicago

Laurie said...

That a faith whose principals are Freedom, Reason and Tolerance should be a target of hate is almost inconceivable. Although we don't condone his actions, the shooter deserves our compassion--no friends, no family, no support.

The words of Jacob Trapp seem very applicable here: "May the flame of faith never die. May we keep our love of life, our delight in friendship, our hunger for new knowledge, our hatred of a lie. Above all may we keep our wonder at great and noble acts." Greg McKendry certainly qualifies for a 'noble act'.

May the flames from each of our chalices unite to give light and warmth to your congregations in your time of healing.

Laurie Brooks
BuxMont UU Fellowship
Warrington, PA

Anonymous said...

Poem by Nancy Woods:
My help is in the mountain
Where I take myself to heal
The earthly wounds
That people give to me
I find a rock with sun on it
And a stream where the water runs gentle
And the trees which one by one give me company.

So must I stay for a long time
Until I have grown from the rock
And the stream is running through me
And I cannot tell myself from one tall tree.

Then I know that nothing touches me
Nor makes me run away.
My help is in the mountain
That I take away with me.

Earth cure me. Earth receive my woe. Rock strengthen me. Rock receive my weakness. Rain
wash my sadness away. Rain receive my doubt.

Sun make sweet my song. Sun receive the anger from my heart.
-
and hold on to our hands, though we may be apart from you in your time of need, we are together in our heart of hearts.

Audrey J Greene said...

This Sunday our church, Bell Street Chapel, in Providence, R.I. will affirming in word and song, our Unitarian Universalist beliefs. We stand in spirit with our friends in Knoxville. Yes, love is the spirit of this church.

Anonymous said...

The violence launched against TVUUC is unfathomable, and my heart goes out to all of you. We are so fortunate to have this forum to grieve with our sisters and brothers.

Celia Miner
Bull Run UU
Manassas, VA

Buffy said...

On behalf of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula, Newport News, Virginia, I send heartfelt condolences to the Tennessee Valley and Westside congregations. Our hearts ache with sorrow that any one should be injured or die because of a difference in ideas. We send out our love and support to you on the wings of the Spirit of Life. We will hold a service of solidarity tomorrow evening, Wednesday, July 30. We hold you in the light.
Rev. Beverly (Buffy) Boke

Rev. Kathleen said...

Your sisters and brothers in East County San Diego, Summit UU Fellowship, are grieving with you and sending you our deepest sympathies and love, now and in all the days to come.
Rev. Kathleen A. Green
Summit UU Fellowship
Santee, CA

Lindsay said...

Sending love and support to the members and friends of the TVUUC. Please know that UUs all over the world are thinking of you during this difficult time.

"Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow." ~Swedish Proverb

CPT Lindsay Teplesky
Kirkuk, Iraq

Rev. Stephen M. Shick said...

Knoxville Prayer

Spirit of Life, God of our broken hearts, the calm of summer has been shattered by shards of violence born on a whirlwind of hate. Penetrating sanctuary walls they took the lives of two faithful friends and wounded others. Now, we, who live far away, breathe in the still empty air of shock and loss. Passing quickly, in an eternity of terror filled moments, the whirlwind has scattered our sense of order. Children singing ran in fear. Adults, gathering courage, stopped the carnage. Terror passed quickly that Sabbath morning ripping us open, exposing a deep loveless darkness that can rest in the human soul. We wait now and pray that our eyes, having adjusted to this unwelcome darkness, will begin to see what needs to be done, what comfort needs to be given, what courage needs to be collected, what hope needs to be spoken. May it be so.

Rev. Stephen M. Shick

Alyson said...

We are sending you light, to heal you, to hold you. We are sending you light, to hold you in love.

Debby Carter said...

To all members of TVUUC,

I briefly saw on the news that a gunman was apprehended after causing fatalities and injuries at a church in TN. I immediately said a prayer and offered up positive support for the church family affected.

Later on that day, I saw a photo of the church and to my horror, that it was a UU congregation. I stood, unable to move, taking a breath and afraid to let it out.

No matter what UU church/congregation I have belonged to or have visited, I have always been made to feel like family immediately. To think that someone could come into any of our open doors and commit such an act is horrifying.

A Baptist friend of mine on MySpace wrote a blog about the incident and we have been talking back and forth about this the past two days. I told her, that even though I didn't know anyone at this church, it felt like members of my own family had been affected. I am still in shock.

I offer all of you my support, condolences, prayers and the hope that something positive, although I don't have any idea what right now, will grow out of this.

Much love to everyone there,

Debby Carter
member, UU Church of St. Petersburg, FL

TJUC said...

Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church sends their love. When one of us is harmed for our beliefs, then all of us are. We know you will find the strength in each other.

Debbie Horvay
Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church
Louisville, KY

NDM said...

Spirit of Love and Comfort be with our sisters and brothers in Knoxville. Dwell in their hearts and minds and help them to heal. Amen.

Rachel Laskowski said...

I am proud of the UU congregation for rushing him. Saddened he couldn't have gotten a hug of a different nature. I am holding you all in the light.
-Rachel Laskowski (from that other very liberal religion... a Quaker from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.)

Rachel Laskowski said...

I am proud of the UU congregation for rushing him. Saddened he couldn't have gotten a hug of a different nature. I am holding you all in the light.
-Rachel Laskowski (from that other very liberal religion... a Quaker from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.)

Veronica said...

My heart and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and the whole UU congregation. Many blessings be upon you to help you through this difficult time.

Anna-Nancy said...

Know that you are being held up in prayer and healing thoughts by the UU community around the world.
Peace and love,
Unitarian Fellowship of Murfreesboro
Tennessee

bones said...

Our thoughts and prayers, our love and healing energy are with you all.

Wishing you peace,
C.J. Brown
UUC of Gwinnett, Lawrenceville, GA

Anonymous said...

Floy Work, The Unitarian Church in Charleston, SC
I send my heartfelt sympathy and I wish for you courage,comfort and the knowledge that love is all around you.
Mahatma Gandhi said, "When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always."

Roberta said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. It saddens me deeply that this has happened to a community that I know and love. I grew up in Knoxville where we were members of Second Presbyterian. As an adult, when visiting Knoxville, I have attended both TVUUC and Westside UU Church. I send you much love and strength.

Roberta Ray
University Unitarian Church
Seattle, WA

Gary Cook said...

I was sorry to hear of the shooting. The Today! show on NBC first tried reporting the shooting without mentioning the Church's name but that did not work. I have heard them not only mention the name now but say that he wanted to kill liberals. They may be in short supply in the Knoxville area but he knew where to find them. This coming Sunday I expect to hear some more about this tragedy at St. John's Unitarian Universalist Church in Cincinnati, of which I am a member.

john boyd said...

as a member of the cape girardeau, missouri unitarian universalist fellowship, i know our thoughts and feelings are with you. as i read these many comments, i can feel the network of love more surely than ever. -john boyd.

Lisa Stahl said...

Our hearts are with you.

Lisa Stahl
First Universalist Unitarian Church
Wausau, WI

Anonymous said...

I add my tears to the great river of tears that is overflowing from every UU Church in this country to Knoxville.
WE ARE A FREE AND LOVING PEOPLE
As your fellow UU's grieve for you I hope in some small measure your own mantle of grief will be lightened in the days to come.
Claire
Clerk at First Univ. Society of Franklin, MA

Lea Petra said...

When I read the news of the shooting, it made me sad and a little fearful. Years ago an UU welcomed our family. We made good friends. Even though we personally do not know any one involved in the shootings, we know how loving and open everyone is that goes to UU. You have all our thoughts and prayers.

Martha Cosco said...

Grief crosses oceans and unites peoples. We, at First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo in Canada send our love and compassion to the Tennessee Valley UU Church and also Westside Unitarian Universalist Church at this terrible time. We grieve for the deaths of Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger and send our heartfelt prayers for the recovery of those who have been injured. Let us channel our grief to be even more energetic in doing our part to make our world a peaceful and hopeful place. Our thoughts are with you at this time.

Martha Cosco
President
First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo
British Columbia, Canada

Rev Jane Page said...

The members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro send their love, prayers, and support. The reactions of all of the folks in these congregations make us so proud to be a part of the Unitarian Universalist community of faith. Peace Be With You!

Jeanne Devon said...

This is a message of love and support from your UU family in Anchorage, Alaska. As we all reflect on these tragic events, we hold you and your community in our hearts. We lit a candle for you on Sunday when we heard the news, and will be gathering together at the Anchorage UU Fellowship tomorrow night for a candlelight vigil. We expect many from outside the UU community to gather with us as we send you thoughts of compassion and healing. May you all find courage and strength in knowing that so many people are with you in spirit.

Pamela said...

I am a member of the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River, Ohio. I am very saddened to hear of this latest act of terrorism upon our own people, in the name of hating liberals. The senseless act was shameful and worse, that it happened in front of a congregation that was there to attend a children's performance of "Annie." I am glad to hear that the crisis team is there to lend their support to those in need. This act of violence traumatized an entire congregation. Sadly, no one was able to notice this man's manic thoughts and ideas before he acted upon them. My thoughts and prayers are with the Tennessee Valley U.U. members and other Knoxville residents. Pamela Maly, Seven Hills, Ohio

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about what happened in your community. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your families.
Kelly

Anna Belle said...

Dear TVUUC,

You are very much in our hearts and minds just down the road here in Nashville. We hope we can be with you soon, and you with us.

Anna Belle
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville

jcarden said...

I was very warmly hosted by the Westside UU church in Oct. 2006. I was a workshop leader for the Beyond Categorical Thinking program. I was floored on Sunday morning to hear the breaking news of a UU church shooting in Knoxville, to later learn it was the TVUU site, then to learn that one of the deaths and some of the injured were from the Westside congregation, who were attending the TVUU church that morning. Both your churches had worked hard to become beacons in your region. Both congregations are to be especially applauded for your outreach to the glbt community. I well remember your discussions about the issues at hand and how much commitment you shared to be welcoming to all.
It’s so tragic that it was your same support that put you all in the site of a deranged gunman. Please accept the healing thoughts and energy my partner and I send your way.
Jerry Carden & Tim Temple
UU Church of Urbana-Champaign, IL

Leslie said...

Dear Knoxville Unitarian Universalists,

We are thinking of you all over the country. Last night, people gathered in Copley Square in downtown Boston and on the campus of Andover Newton Theological School to say prayers, light candles and sing songs.

We honor your courage in taking stands for equity and compassion in your community. We grieve with you the loss of beloved memebers of your community. We hope to support you in the weeks and months of healing that lie ahead.

Many blessings,
Leslie Becknell Marx
First Parish in Brookline, MA

Ardis Wood said...

Our thoughts and prayers will be with you all at the U.U. Savannah vigil tomorrow and always. In your grief, know that you are not alone. Thank you, children, for reminding us that the sun will come out again. Ardis Wood

Paula Burroughs said...

As a member of Granite Peak UUC, Prescott, AZ, I share with your congregation my deep sorrow for your loss and my wish for healing and comfort for each of you. I am all the more proud to be part of an open, accepting, loving faith.
Paula

therese said...

Our thoughts are with your congregation, especially the children.

Maryanne Sonick and Therese Libert
Alan Libert, Jasmine Libert, and James Gainer
Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church
Pittsburgh, PA

Julia Beckman said...

I'm sure all of us in the UU church of Hinsdale, IL are shocked and saddened by this tragedy. What a courageous group you are! It was an inspiration to read that many of you jumped in to save other lives. Your example will continue to inspire us.
I've never been so proud to be a Unitarian! Best wishes that you all will gather peace and strength from each other and all of us in the days ahead.

Lorraine said...

I am thinking about all of you and hope that you can feel the caring and concern that so many of us send your way.

Lorraine
Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) and Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading MA

Anonymous said...

As an occasional UU I feel a profound sadness for everyone in the Knoxville church. Living here in San Francisco surrounded by many flavors of liberals it is easy to forget that there are places in our country where it is an act of courage to attend a liberal church or to admit to being a UU in a public setting. I want to thank the Knoxville UUs for their courage and hope that they will find strength and healing through forgiveness.

Debra said...

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, GA) sends condolences, love and support to the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. We grieve for you. We support you. We love you.
Debra Greenwood, President
Board of Trustees

Anonymous said...

I felt the loving UU spirit in listening to members describe the congregation and the horrible event. There is more love in congregations that are free to choose and express love openly and fearlessly for all people. I am rewriting my sermon for this sunday on heroism. I want to reflect the heroism in your congregation. To love all, to be tolerant of others, to be open to exploration of ideas, to serve others with helping hands: these are our commitments of faith in action. You are deeply connected to us through our youth. We pray that you find healing and strength in love we share.

Ken Shilling
President
Goodloe Memorial UU Congregation

Bob Howard said...

We of Chalice Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Gilbert, Arizona stand in loving solidarity with your pain, and send you our prayers for peace and healing. May the immense wave of love for you, to which these hundreds of messages bear witness, support you in the days to come, and encourage you to keep spreading the message that love will overcome fear. For the sake of the innocents who were shot, and for the sake of healing social injustices, prejudices, and fear, which drive some to such violence, we will join you in continuing our resolute struggle for justice. May blessings most rich flow to you, and then continue through you.

Robert R. Howard
Interim Minister
Chalice Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gilbert, AZ

Rev. Mo White said...

Rev. Mo White writes:
We stand with you in solidarity and bow our heads with you in prayer that all seen and unseen agents of love and peace are active. Our tears flow for you in sorrow and sympathy. May our collective raw and tender hearts help hold and heal this great pain and this wounded world. We will continue to let all children know that we are always working to provide them with love, security and peace.

Foothills Church, Ft. Collins, CO
UU Congregation of the Grand Valley, Grand Junction, CO

brucesj1 said...

We were sad to see the Barnharts and Kraegers leave us last year but saw the joy and excitement in their eyes as they prepared to return home after so many years in Texas. We are sadder still because of the horrendous act that took one of our friends and injured two others and their family members. Our hearts go out too all of the two UU congregations who suffered so terribly. And our love goes out to Joe, Mary Ann, Linda, Victoria, Chloe and Duane. May Joe and Linda, his brother and sister-in-law heal rapidly, and may Duane be comforted with all of our love at this time of his great loss!
Bruce Jarstfer and Don Taylor, Denton UU Fellowship

Erin said...

My heart goes out to all those who are suffering as a result of this senseless tragedy. May we hold our heads high and stay strong as we honor and uphold our guiding principles, even through these trying times.

Erin Raasch
Free Congregation of Sauk County (WI), a UU Fellowship

Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald said...

Dear, dear people of the Knoxville UU congregation,

I was told the news of the tragedy just minutes before I stepped into the pulpit here in Palo Alto, California.

During our Joys & Sorrows we lit a special candle for all of you, and for your minister Chris Buice who was an immediate colleague when I served the Northwest UU Congregation in Atlanta 2000-2001. All attending rested in deep quiet for some time as we sent our love.

Though difficult, we went on with our service, whose theme was, appropriately, the blessings of silence.

Know that the UUs of the San Francisco Peninsula are holding you all tenderly and with love. May all involved know the healing wings of compassion and love. And may those charged with tending to your wounded spirits be empowered from the deep wells of all that is good and loving.

Peace and Care to you all,
Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald
Consulting Minister UU Church of Palo Alto, California

Alex said...

On behalf of the Board of Directors and congregation at Neshoba UU Church in Memphis, I extend our condolences and hope-filled thoughts to you in this time of tragedy, confusion, and grief. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as we vigil in your honor tomorrow evening.
Alex Perry, President
Neshoba UU Church

Cece said...

Cincinnati, OH

Last night, (Mon. 7/28), in Cincinnati there was a service at Northern Hills UU Fellowship in Cincinnati. We lit candles and held you in our hearts.

I hope you find all of the love an support that you need each day.

Warm regards,
Cece Russell-Jayne

Anonymous said...

Sending love and healing thoughts to everyone in the Knoxville UU Community. The stark contrast between an act of such violence with the supportive sense of shared humanity that your congregation embraces, reminds us all of the urgent need to keep our liberal faith alive. In peace and solidarity...
Maureen, UU Church Farmington Hills, MI

Bob Jordan said...

Dear sister and brother UUs in Knoxville, Members of All Souls UU church in Shreveport, LA learned the sad news of your losses at the beginning of our Sunday service. Our hearts go out to you. Personally, I was particularly concerned because I lived in Knoxville for 14 years and have close friends who are members of your church--Doris Gove and Jeff Mellor. I contacted Doris after the service and was relieved to learn that neither she nor Jeff were harmed. but still very saddened to learn that two people died senselessly and others were phyically wounded. Members of All Souls are especially concerned about the traumatic effects that this event can have on your children and adult members. Our church has a mission similar to yours. We are aware that even the children of our own church family may feel less safe and plan activities to help our children and adult members express their feelings about these events. Again, please know that we are grieving and standing with you.

Bob Jordan
All Souls Member

Julie Veile said...

I cannot express enough how much love and strength I am sending your way and to all those who have been touched by this tragedy.

Someone posted this on another site and I wanted to share it with all of you:

“Prayer for Faith”
by Jane Ellen Mauldin

So often words fail us.
And we do not know to whom or what we pray.
We ask for legs that can walk for peace,
Arms that can work for justice,
Voices that can speak with love,
Hands that can soothe a feverish brow.
By our actions and voices
May our prayers be sent.
Shalom. Salaam. Om. Amen.

Anonymous said...

These are not my ideas, but I think they are good ones!

Here's how to fold a crane: http://www.sadako.org/foldingcranes.htm

Please send paper cranes to the children of TVUUC. It is a very tangible way to show the children how many people are thinking and praying for them.

The address is:
Tennesee Valley UU Church
c/o Brian Griffin, DLRE
2931 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919

[She] got the idea from a Fred Small song "Cranes Over Hiroshima" which was inspired from this story:
http://www.sadako.org/sadakostory.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Sadako-thousand-paper-cranes-Eleanor/dp/0698118022

I'm not sure who the DRE at Westside is, but since half the victims were from Westside I think it makes sense to include them as well.

Westside Unitarian Universalist Church
616 Fretz Rd.
Farragut, TN 37934

pamela said...

We in the greater Denver area sympathize with you pain. We know the trauma of seneless hate driven shootings having been through Columbine, Baily, and two church shootings last winter. In all these evetns innocent people were killed. My thoughts and prayers are with you that you may all heal and resume life to its fullest.

Bob Jordan said...

Dear sister and brother UUs in Knoxville, Members of All Souls UU church in Shreveport, LA learned the sad news of your losses at the beginning of our Sunday service. Our hearts go out to you. Personally, I was particularly concerned because I lived in Knoxville for 14 years and have close friends who are members of your church--Doris Gove and Jeff Mellor. I contacted Doris after the service and was relieved to learn that neither she nor Jeff were harmed. but still very saddened to learn that two people died senselessly and others were phyically wounded. Members of All Souls are especially concerned about the traumatic effects that this event can have on your children and adult members. Our church has a mission similar to yours. We are aware that even the children of our own church family may feel less safe and plan activities to help our children and adult members express their feelings about these events. Again, please know that we are grieving and standing with you.

Bob Jordan
All Souls Member

Anonymous said...

"Dear Friends,

I am deeply shocked and saddened at the act of outrageous violence this past Sunday at Tennessee Valley UU Church, and extend my deep condolences to the families of the deceased and wounded, and their friends.

Among other relevant matters, this tragedy points up again the needless epidemic of firearm violence to which we're subjected in this country, owing to overly easy access to firearms.

My heart goes out to all of you,

Rev. Ben Bortin
Membership Coordinator
UU Congregation of Shelter Rock"

JamieN said...

As a fellow UU from Chapel Hill, NC, I wanted to send my love and support to all of you in Tennessee. We are here with you in spirit.
Jamie N

Anonymous said...

hwe of the Antelope Valley, Ca UU Fellowship in Lancaster, California, stand solidly with you and send you all our love and support. As has been said here, we know it can happen anywhere and is a symptom of the division and fear in our society. We will all keep supporting our liberal beliefs and keep loving all people despite such tragedy; and we send you our deepest love and condolences.Dr. Ulrica Perkins, President AVUUF

Budnbu said...

The UU hearts across Australia and New Zealand sank when they heard the news of the tragedy in Knoxville. We find it hard to comprehend such an act of mindless, hateful violence.

But through the grief, sorrow and anger comes a message of tremendous courage - not only the courage of Greg McKendry and those who disarmed the gunman, but also the courage of the TVUUC in holding true to their liberal religious values in a hostile environment.

we applaud such courage, and are proud to be a part of a religious community that includes TVUUC.

This Saturday, starting at 6pm(10am Sunday local time) chalices will be lit throughout Australasia in honour and sympathy with you all. May our thoughts and prayers find their way to your hearts.

Sincerely
Rev Derek McCullough
President
Australia New Zealand Unitarian Universalsit Assoc.

majic jeani said...

We are such a large and diverse denomination, but when one of us is hurt or wounded, or we are "attacked" inany way, I always marvel how we draw together, "circle the wagons" and love one another. Blessings to all of us for healing and forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

Deepest sympathy for all of you, and particularly the children. A special shout-out to Greg McKendry's family. He is a true hero.

Kate said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. I am so shocked and sorry for what has happened. I do not have the words to adequately express my dismay, sorrow, and the love I want to convey.

Kate
Aiken UU

Anonymous said...

A friend in Knoxville has confirmed my own long distance impression of the exemplary behavior of the members of your UU church(es) in the aftermath of this tragedy--grieving, or course, but dignified and sensible, focusing on how to help the survivors, rather than recriminations. Nothing can take away your loss and sadness, but perhaps you will find some small comfort in knowing that you are showing the world our faith at its best.

Anonymous said...

Please read Ian Welsh on Firedoglake. See the comments.

http://firedoglake.com/2008/07/29/knoxville-tragedy-redeemed-by-heroism/#Respond

David Chandler said...

The members and friends of the UU Church of Saco and Biddeford send our condolences. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all victims of violence.

Rev. David W. Chandler
Saco, Maine

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you and yours.
Here's the chorus to a song I like by a group called Casting Crowns. This is from their song called "Praise You in This Storm."
I hope you find some hope in these words.

"And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm."

Blessed be, my brothers and sisters.
Grey Walker, reverend and priestess, Coven of Christ Ministries

Richard De Berry said...

My deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of those lost and to those wounded both physically and emotionally in this tragedy.

Greg McKendry performed “above and beyond the call of duty.” He willingly sacrificed the most precious thing on earth, his life, that others would not perish.

The world is full of phony heroes. Greg McKendry is the real deal.

The Johnson Family said...

Love and Light from First Church UU in Leominster, Mass. We share in your sorrow and we send you strength and prayers.

Sue Graffius said...

I don't have anything that I can add to the wonderful support you already find here. My heart breaks for all who were in the church on Sunday as well as their families and friends. Words escape me. Peace to all.

Sherri Green said...

We Unitarians often speak of "the free and responsible search for truth and meaning." I think we spend a lot of time focusing on the "free" part. The people in Knoxville took the "responsible" part seriously, too. They took personal responsibility. They did what had to be done to protect those children. That makes me proud to be a Unitarian, even as I grieve for those injured and killed. My thoughts are with everyone affected.

tina said...

My dearest brothers and sisters,
I know our collective love can hold all of us in this tragedy. We are strong together and we have many arms to help in the healing. In our deepest of sorrows, there is always the light of community. My heart is with all of you affected and struggling at this time.

Thank you to the UUA for setting up this place for public prayer and mourning.

In faith and love,

Tina Simson
First Unitarian Church Rochester, NY

Nikole said...

My heart is breaking for you. I stayed at the Knoxville Church about 25 years ago as a young member of the LRY. I just send all my prayers and heart to you. We all have people like the two folks who died in our lives and in our churches - the loss is so great. Know that you are in our thoughts.

Mary Keith said...

Those of us in UU churches in the deep south, recognize how scarey and dangerous it is to allow our light of love, peace and tolerance to shine forth. Most of the time we are only subject to words of derision that we realize spring from fear and misunderstanding. With love and patience we try to open ourselves to the community at large, knowing that fear is bred of ignorance. The UU's in Knoxville have suffered what all of us in the deep south fear the most, a senseless act of violence based upon what we represent, love. My prayer, my hope is that the churches in this area will not draw into themselves but will shine more brightly than ever before. To do this will take an effort of uncommon bravery and can only be done with the support of all UU's across the nation. May we all stand on the side of love.

Cindy said...

I want to send some love to your church. It's quite sad to hear the news. Hope all of these involved in the case get well.

Heather said...

I just returned from my congregation's candlelight vigil in remembrance and support of your community. We are deeply saddened, but the one word that comes to mind when I think of you is 'love'. Our hearts beat as one with love for you.

Heather Lowry
UU Fellowship of Fredericksburg, VA

Vennie said...

For various reasons I was out of the news loop Sunday and Monday and only heard of the tragedy today. Disbelief, followed by shock and profound sorrow was my initial reaction. How could it happen? Why did it happen?

We are reminded often in small ways that being a UU involves "swimming upstream" against strong currents of ignorance, intolerance, and bigotry, and even blind hatred. Rarely, thankfully, we are reminded of it in huge, horrific ways, such as the events of July 27in Knoxville.

It could have been any of our congregations. In a way, it IS all our congregations. All of us are touched and saddened by this senseless act of hate and frustration. All of us must again come to terms with our faith and values in what may appear to many of us to be a frightening new light.

Knoxville, do not despair. We are with you, in grief, in spirit, in love, and in support. Our collective love is stong enough to endure this.

Vennie Anderson,
Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship
Carbondale, IL

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