“We have conquered every distance except one – the distance between human beings.”  — Jonathan Henry Sacks, British rabbi, philosopher, and scholar of Judaism

Dear Colleagues,

We are picking up the pieces once again. This time from Orlando. Words are everywhere, but there really are no words that speak enough comfort to the grieving. In the 21st Chapter of Revelation, we have heard many times, “God will be with the people; God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more.” I cannot help but wonder, “Who? Who is wiping the tears from God’s eyes?”

Pastors, you are doing hard work ~
~ tending to your congregations, your people, searching for words of comfort and words of hope amidst such despair and even anger
~ tending to your friends whom you are deeply connected
~ tending to your own family
~ tending to your own soul that cries out with a resounding, “No, not again!” and joins the Psalmist, “O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.”

God hears, my friends.  God hears.

I am grateful for your work that I know seems endless. I am grateful for your work that is making a difference. I am grateful that God is working with you and through you. Keep bending down to pick up the “peaces” given to us by the Holy Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. May God’s comfort and strength continue to be upon you.

The Rev. Juan Rodriguez, who keynoted Oklahoma’s Regional Assembly, is the Regional Minister for Florida.  We offer our prayers for the grace of God at work there. Here is the link to his response to the Orlando crisis.

The Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, our General Minister and President, offers these words as well.

Please share these heart-felt words with your people.

Peace & God’s grace,