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Knoxville Church Shooting Thread


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I doubt there are many who visit here who haven't heard about the assault on Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church last Sunday by a gunman who wanted to attack the "liberal movement", or the two people who died as a result. I wanted to have a thread here because despite a few of the issues I have with some aspects of UU culture or UU structure, they are prominent and historic example of Progressive Christianity. The Unitarians and the Universalists began as Christian denominations who came to see that if Jesus is the incarnation of light and life and if God is love then any sacred tradition which seeks light, celebrates life, and participates in love is worthy of respect and their adherents are fellow seekers and followers and of truth. Hence the union of the groups into the Unitarian Universalist Association, which accepts anyone of any or of no specific sacred tradition who is in agreement with their seven principles affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person.




In the UU tradition of drawing on sacred traditions, particularly from its Judeo-Christian heritage, I offer the following:


A selection from The Book of Lamentations (portions of chapter 3)...


He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light; indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.


He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.


He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead. He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains.


Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked.


Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, he dragged me from the path and mangled me and left me without help.


He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows. He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver...


He has filled me with bitter herbs and sated me with gall. He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust.


I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, "My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD."


I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:


Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.





And the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi...


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy;


Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.


For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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