Last week about thirty of your fellow congregants attended an Inter-faith Vigil for those slain in Orlando on the steps of Norwalk City Hall. This beautiful event was attended by over 400 members of our larger community and featured speakers who were both religious and secular. Our own David Vita played a large part in organizing this event. I lighted the chalice and Rev. Frances Sink from our Stamford Church offered the closing words upon extinguishing the flame.
We are sick and tired of innocent people, men, women, children and now 49 young LGBTQ people being shot by those who couple their hatred with a ready access to guns. The sorrow and the outrage at this vigil and across our nation are palatable. As so many of us have said, this must stop. I will be devoting some of my time in the coming months to work towards the support of our LGBTQ friends and those moderate Muslims who have seen their religion hijacked by hatred. I will also continue to lead us in working for sensible gun regulation.
As Stephen Colbert and others have pointed out, despair is not an option. A moment of silence is not an option and prayers are not enough. We must make the overwhelmingly silent majority be heard so that these killings come to an end. I will invite you to join me in this hopeful work.
I leave for the UUA General Assembly in Columbus, OH. There I will be meeting with those who are working for this same hope. In addition to my many meetings and attending to the business of our denomination, I will be finding out how we can make a difference as one of our larger congregations. We have more influence than we know.
After General Assembly I will be taking some study leave through July 26th. I will be in town for most of the month of August, albeit on a much more relaxed schedule. On Sundays when I am in town I will be at church although not leading worship. Feel free to call on me when needed. When I am not in town either Rev. Ed Thompson or one of our experienced Chaplains will be on pastoral call. Just call the church office and leave a message on my extension and someone will get back to you.
We have had an amazing year together. We have an even more amazing year ahead of us. One grounded in love, inspired by justice, and made manifest in work of being in community together.
Enjoy your summer and don’t forget to bring back a vial of some water from your summer journeys (both afar and near) to share at our Compo Beach service September 4th. Our official Homecoming service is September 11th.
Yours always, Rev. John