14 Jun A Message to the Synod following the tragedy in Orlando
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As I struggled with what I wanted to say to you at this difficult time in the life of our nation following the tragedy in Orlando, I received a letter from the Interim Executive Director of the New Mexico Conference of Churches, the Rev. Dr. Kay Huggins*. Her thoughts helped me to put into perspective and articulated well how I am personally experiencing this tragedy. So, with Kay’s permission, I wish to share her message with each of you.
“’Thus says the Lord:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.
Thus says the Lord:
Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears;
for there is a reward for your work,
says the Lord:
they shall come back from the land of the enemy; there is hope for your future, says the Lord:
your children shall come back to their own country.’ Jeremiah 31:15-17
From horror, bloodshed, anger, and dismay our voices rise up: this is too much, this is beyond understanding, this pain goes too deep. Help!
We pause in small circles, around meal tables, and in silent sanctuaries; we pray for the victims, for the wounded, for the grieving, for the fearful, for the frightened, for all the brokenhearted. Help!
The news will not stop; each hour increases sadness and sparks rage. We listen; then, turn away. We face ourselves. Old truths tug at our heartstrings. Resolve builds: What must we do?
What we have always done: love mercy, do justice, humbly walk with God.
God of all, bless our lamentations and our steps forward. May we weep with those who weep, guard the vulnerable, and make a smooth path for peace. Help! for this moment is tender, fragile…and without your aid we surely will stumble.
Hear our lamentation. Help! Amen.
*Kay may be familiar to many of you as a former associate pastor at Valley Presbyterian Church (Presbytery de Cristo) and current Parish Associate at Second Presbyterian Church (Presbytery of Santa Fe), among other service in this part of God’s creation and throughout our denomination.