One of many reasons I am humbled by my calling to ordained ministry is that it is, or can be, a greater community of faith leaders from many faith traditions. After the shooting last year at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, a group of us pastors, rabbis, and imams began gathering to become connected, celebrate our common ground, and work for peace in our part of this world. It wasn't long after this that the shooting at the mosque in New Zealand happened. We grieved. Together.
This past weekend, my first awareness of the shooting in
El Paso was a text by the rabbi to our group text suggesting we draft a statement from our group to speak against this violence. In the midst of our texting, we received word of a second shooting in Dayton. We could not even speak out with one voice, only hours after one act of violence before another atrocity. That is the deeper tragedy. The frequency of this devastating violence does not even give us time to respond.
I was deeply humbled when we gathered Tuesday morning to gather with other committed faith leaders who think deeply and pray fervently each day because thoughts and prayers always produce action, and our thoughtfulness and prayer shared with one another on common ground yielded a beautiful statement and a fruitful conversation about actions we hope we and our leaders will take. Just as our writing process from different faith traditions necessitated compromise of wording and vocabulary, structure, and thought, so too will our solutions to ending violence in our nation and world. There will be many approaches and many ideas. And together, through thoughtfulness, prayer, and righteous action, we will find peace together in God's world.