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Two important messages for all of us about TVUUC

July 28th, 2008 (11:50 pm)
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current location: casa new jersey

An email to my local UU congregations:

Hi, friends.  These messages come from the UU-leaders mailing list.  They contain important and useful information about Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and the efforts toward healing there.  I'm sure they'd appreciate your sharing them with others.

<3

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"Members of the UU Trauma Response Team and the TJD staff are here in Knoxville with them to offer our support and love on your behalf and to work with them to develop a plan for dealing with this enormous tragedy. UUA President Bill Sinkford will arrive in Knoxville this afternoon to be present with them at their healing service tonight. The road will not be easy but I believe that our deep and abiding faith in each other will see them through. Please continue to hold the members and friends of Tennessee Valley UU Church, Westside UU Fellowship, the satellite congregation in Maryville, and Oak Ridge UU Church in your hearts and prayers as they begin the arduous process of recovery.

Every UU has been deeply impacted by this unspeakable violation to one of our own. I encourage you to gather together in your congregations and hold your own vigils, reach out to all of your members, invite them into conversation, speak about your own sadness and your own fears, find ways to be together in this difficult time. Let the spirit of life and love hold you all through this, for it is our courage, our commitment, our love, and our acceptance of all people that guides us through even the darkest hour. "

-- Annette Marquis, Thomas Jefferson District

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Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 22:29:01 -0400
From: "Unitarian Universalist Association" <uua_l@uua.org>
Subject: [UU-Leaders] Unitarian Universalists Respond to Knoxville
       Tragedy
To: <uu-leaders@lists.uua.org>
Message-ID: <80BCC712CC44034CB63482BB48C08B1D01D92091@exchsrv.uua.org>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"

(July 28 - 10:15 PM)

In the wake of the tragic shootings on July 27, 2008 which resulted in two deaths and injuries to six others, Unitarian Universalists are rallying to offer ministry and support to the affected members of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and the Westside Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

UUA Thomas Jefferson District (TJD) Executive Annette Marquis has arrived in Knoxville to provide support and guidance to the Tennessee Valley and Westside congregations.  Two members of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt and Rev. Susan Suchoki Brown, are also on the scene to provide additional support to members of the two congregations directly affected by this tragedy.  Retired UU minister Rev. Gordon Gibson was attending the service on Sunday morning when the shootings occurred; Gibson is among those ministers now providing ministerial support on site.  Sue Sinnamon, TJD Director of Faith Development, also arrived in Knoxville today to work with families and youth affected by the tragedy.

UUA President William G. Sinkford, who released a statement within hours of the tragedy (see http://www.uua.org/news/newssubmissions/117154.shtml) is now in Knoxville and spoke tonight at a candlelight vigil held at the Second Presbyterian Church, located next to the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

Additional information and resources have been posted to UUA.org and other sites.  They include:

-         Trauma Response Resources for Families and Congregations, now available at http://www.uua.org/leaders/leaderslibrary/leaderslibrary/117164.shtml

-         "Making Meaning After Disaster," a resource by Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
(http://www.uua.org/documents/lfd/workshop_making_meaning_after_disaster_080727.pdf ) is also available.

-         Prayers from interfaith and international partners can be found at:  http://www.uua.org/spirituallife/117162.shtml .

-         UUWorld.org has posted information and will continue to update their pages.  See http://www.uuworld.org/news/articles/117286.shtml for reporter Donald Skinner's story on the tragedy.

-         Information on vigils and services of remembrance is being collected and posted at http://www.uua.org/news/newssubmissions/117287.shtml .

-         The Unitarian Universalist Association has opened a web space for those who wish to share messages of support with Unitarian Universalists of Knoxville.  Please visit this new site to read or to post your own message:  http://knoxvillesupport.blogspot.com/ .

Information on the Unitarian Universalist response to the Knoxville shootings will be updated regularly and posted at http://www.uua.org/news/newssubmissions/117156.shtml .

For continuing Unitarian Universalist Association news and information, subscribe to UUA-l@lists.uua.org .


A few years ago, when my local UU church was considering becoming a Welcoming Congregation, several people voiced the concern that something like this could happen, and a lot more of us seemed worried, whether we said anything or not.  We set those fears aside, though, and started the process.  On my way home tonight I realized that some of our people paid a price for our faith.  That's really humbling, and stunning.  It's nothing new to our species to be targeted for our beliefs, most especially our religious beliefs.  And yet I'm still stunned.

I'm sure none of that is of any comfort for those grieving tonight.