As we wake to the continued news about the terrorist massacre at a gay night night club in Orlando, our hearts are breaking with grief for the families and friends of the forty-nine people who died. The depth of pain and shock that they are experiencing brings us all to our knees in prayer.  Amidst this grief, I join the strong expressions of solidarity with our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as this hate crime reminds us of the acts of violence and oppression that members of the LGBT community continue to face. Many of us also feel despair and anger at yet another mass shooting while it remains so difficult to reform laws about gun sales and transport.
The intensity of these emotions and a sense of being powerless before such enormous issues can paralyze us. While we trust that all who died have been welcomed into God’s eternal embrace, and that the Holy Comforter and all angels are tending those who grieve, we struggle to know how to respond. Nothing is beyond the redemptive power of God, and God inspires us to act to bring love, peace, hope and reconciliation to this broken world. Below, I share with you two prayers for peace and invite you to attend a candlelight prayer vigil in our Gardens on Thursday night, June 16, at 7:30 pm. Please bring any poems or prayers to share. In an email to the diocese Bishop Alan writes,
“Our grief and anger, however, must continue to issue not only in compassion and prayer, but in continued advocacy for those measures which can turn the tide in this crescendo of death.  We do this with programs that build relationships across lines that divide us.  We do it also with common-sense legislation on access to weaponry.  (Bishops United Against Gun Violence, of which both I and Bishop Gayle Harris are members, provides links at www.bishopsagainstgunviolence.org, pull-down menu “The Evidence.”)

If you would like to connect with a local organization advocating for gun law reform, Grandmothers Against Gun Violence is a wonderful organization open to anyone (not just grandmothers). Their website offers links to steps we can all take to work for a safer community.

May God comfort all who grieve and struggle today, and inspire us to wage peace.
With love and blessings,
Libby+
Make Me An Instrument of thy Peace, Cambridge Singers conducted by John Rutter
Make Me An Instrument of thy Peace,
Cambridge Singers conducted by John Rutter
Wage Peace
by Judyth Hill
written following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001
Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble, breathe out whole buildings and flocks of redwing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
Make soup.
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries, imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Wage peace.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Celebrate today.
Wage Peace Candlelight Vigil, June 16, 7:30pm