Monday, July 28, 2008

Shooting in church

Most of you are probably aware of the news story about the gunman who entered a Unitarian church in Knoxville, TN yesterday and began shooting, killing two people and injuring about seven others. Well that church is of the same denomination as the one that I belong to. So this is a big story for me, and for many of my friends. Tonight they had a special service, and there will be another special service Wednesday. Our minister, who is off during the month of July, is returning early in order to preside over this service, and the one on Sunday. Like I said, this is a big deal.

I have frequently wished our denomination received more press...that people would get to know us better. Maybe my wish has come true, though in a way I would not have chosen myself. I believe we have a unique opportunity here to show the world how we live our commitments. It's easy to hate someone who causes pain to others, and makes people afraid to be in the very place that will bring them the greatest degree of comfort. But our challenge now is to our principles. What are our principles, you ask? They are as follows:

There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
I hope we're up to the task.

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