Dear UUSM Community,
My heart is heavy with the horror unfolding in Israel and Palestine and fear for what is yet to come. I know many of you are feeling the same. Those with loved ones in the region, religious or cultural ties, and/or generational trauma may be suffering acutely right now, and I want to encourage you to reach out to the pastoral care team at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at email@example.com if you would like spiritual or emotional support at this time.
Below is a letter and prayer I sent out with my colleagues from the Peninsula Solidarity Cohort, a local network of interfaith clergy in which both Rev Terri and I are active. I share it with you now in the hopes that the words may bring some comfort. Please, take gentle loving care of yourselves and each other, and reach out to those in your circles who may be feeling the trauma intimately. In these times, we need each other more than ever.
With love and concern,
We want to express our deep horror, sadness, and concern for the attacks on Israelis last week and the terrible violence unfolding in Israel and Gaza. We are holding all our Jewish and Muslim siblings in love and prayer, understanding that the impacts of this war are deep and wide across the globe and here in our neighborhoods. Please know that you are not alone.
We hold in our hearts all who have died in the unprecedented violence in Israel and in Gaza.
We hold in our hearts all who have been injured in body, and in soul, especially the children.
We hold in our hearts all those who are experiencing terror, those who are hiding and those who have no place to hide.
We hold in our hearts those that are trying to alleviate suffering—the first responders, the medics, the nurses, the doctors.
We hold in our hearts all who are separated from loved ones and worried about their safety.
We hold in our hearts all who are experiencing generational trauma that this triggers, here and abroad.
We hold in our hearts the families who are experiencing unspeakable grief because they have lost their children and family members to this horror.
We hold in our hearts the journalists who are putting their own lives at risk to bring the awful truth of what is happening into the light of day so we can be witnesses to the atrocities.
We pray for those who would find themselves so shut off to their own humanity that they would take the lives of innocent people.
We pray for those in power that they may find a way forward with as little harm as possible.
We pray for an end to violence and that peace with justice will prevail.
In love and solidarity,
Rev.s Penny Nixon, Marlyn Bussey and Tovis Page