Just a month ago I wrote a reflection in response to a mass shooting in our country, and here we are again. This time it was at a place of worship - a familiar Sunday morning setting for most of us - evoking similar yet possibly more intense, personal emotions than past events. Last Sunday in our worship service we heard the familiar text of Jesus's Beatitudes. Pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes approached these same Beatitudes in light of Sunday's tragedy, writing:
 
Sutherland Springs Beatitudes
 
Blessed are they who are devastated,
For theirs is the realm of heaven.
 
Blessed are they who grieve for this country,
For they shall be comforted.
 
Blessed are they who are nonviolent,
For they shall inherit the earth.
 
Blessed are they who long for a culture of peace
For they shall be satisfied.
 
Blessed are they who seek healing, not revenge,
For they shall receive mercy.
 
Blessed are they who desire only blessing for all,
For they shall see God.
 
Blessed are they who work for the healing of the world,
For they shall be called children of God.
 
Blessed are they who meet opposition
In their work for peace and justice,
For theirs is the realm of heaven.
Blessed are you when people dismiss and insult you.
Rejoice, and be glad:
Great is your reward in the heart of all things,
For in just this way
They persecuted the prophets who were before you.
 


~ Mindy Stewart
At times like  this , we may find ourselves asking questions: how many more atrocities need to occur? Whose life must be taken for action to be taken? How do we respond as a faith community? What can I do to help prevent these senseless acts of violence? While our questions can seem unending and unanswerable, there are actions we can take to reduce gun violence. Call  614-305-7756  to contact your state lawmaker about two bills before the Ohio legislature, SB 180 (Permitless and Stand Your Ground) and HB 233 (Guns Everywhere). After listening to recorded instructions, you will be directed to your state senator.


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