While I was away on vacation my heart was broken, as I am sure yours were too, by the violence and hatred on display in Charlottesville.
I understand that the interfaith community in Milton gathered on the town green, and our steeple bell rang, to affirm once again our enduring commitment that this community is no place for hate. I am grateful for this clear witness.
In July, the United Church of Christ adopted a new vision statement: a just world for all. This vision describes the world we believe we will see when the United Church of Christ fulfills the mission for which it was born. A world where all people live with justice, and in peace.
Racism, bigotry, and hatred of any kind do not have a place in the world God desires. And they do not have a place in the world that we, as a community of faith, are striving to build.
This year, we will have several opportunities as a congregation to reflect on the enduring evil of racism in our world, to equip ourselves to better confront hatred in all its forms, and to grow as faithful followers of Christ whose message, first and foremost, was love.
I want to call your attention once again to this resource created by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association, which offers tools for parents to talk to children of any age about racism and hatred, and to help teach them the values of love and justice for all people.
In addition a dedicated group of church members in working together now to bring a workshop to our congregation from the United Church of Christ which will offer us opportunities to explore these conversations and challenges more deeply.
Finally, I ask that you please join me in prayer. Pray not only that life will become easier, but that we will be stronger. Pray not just that the world will somehow change, but that each of us will have the clarity and courage to take our place in the work of love.
God be with us.