United Church of Christ

Into the Mystic: Don't Give Up

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UCC’s General Minister and President Responds to the Latest Mass Shootings

I did want to take an opportunity and reflect on this last weekend, and in particular the two mass shootings one in El Paso and one in Dayton, Ohio, and I just want to say a few things about this.

First of all, the senseless violence that takes innocent lives--these are people who left home with great joy in their heart, never knowing that they would never see their family again, who will spend the rest of their life grieving this loss. And it's not just these families that grieve, the entire country is trying to process the collective anxiety to our soul and our psyche that is produced when one terrorist attack after another comes so frequently and so quickly that we don't even have time to process what we feel about it before we have to move on and experience the next one.

And I want to say just a quick word about our Congressional representatives who, time after time after time, witness these and still refuse to give ground to a gun lobby that has them so enamored with their power that they can't even talk about responsible gun control laws.

Don’t give up in the face of hopelessness

And I know that we can get to the point where we feel like it's time to just give up, that we can't change this, and it won't matter if we try, but we cannot quit. We cannot give up. We have to continue to pray hard, pray hard every day, for everybody everywhere, for as long as we can, as hard as we can, and don't just pray, but start to act. We have to speak about this. We have to write about this. We have to preach about this. We have to act out about this. We have to let our legislators know how angry we are.

And like any other justice movement that has come before us, if we must now march in the streets to make our point, we will until the arc of history continues to bend towards justice.

Don't give up. I'm not quitting; I can't. And I pledge to you that I will redouble my efforts to utilize the capacity of my office to help make a difference. And I pledge to you that before the week is out, I will have made calls to religious leaders across this country asking how we can share our collective capacity to make a difference.

For God's sake, let's do this. God be with us. May Jesus Christ who died to give us our life give us the strength and the courage to do this next thing and have the patience to see it through to the end. Thank you.


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