Safe Places

Instead of a sermon/message this Sunday morning, our congregation will have a conversation. Or, at least start one.
A conversation about…
Violence.
And guns.
And the meaning of the 2nd Amendment.
About assault weapons.
And hand guns.
And high capacity magazine clips.
And, I hope…
A conversation about what it takes to create safe places;
For our children and for our youth and for our households.

I find myself wondering…
How much of the violence that we hear about on the news;
From Aurora to Sandy Hook to the streets of Chicago;
Has to do with alienation and a sense of hopelessness?
Has to do with individuals just not caring anymore?
Or, about pain crying out for attention in the most destructive way possible?

Yes, our elected officials and law enforcement officers and mental health professionals all have an critical role to play in our continued efforts to minimize violence and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who cannot use them safely and properly.
But places like this…
Churches, synagogues, mosques…
Communities of faith of whatever size or shape or brand…
Also have a role to play that has something to do with hope and purpose and making a positive difference. And something to do with a sense of community which is something that many have lost over the last number of years.

I don’t know how the conversation will go on Sunday.
I just know it is an important conversation to begin.
I don’t know what we need to do more of to create safe places.
I just know it is important that we begin.