This afternoon Pastor Mark is speaking at a prayer vigil at Masjid Noor Mosque in Greenlawn to remember the victims of the terrorists attack at the Christchurch Mosques and to pray for a more inclusive and compassionate community. Here are his prepared remarks:
On behalf of the The Congregational Church of Huntington I wish to share our utter shock at the shootings in Christchurch and our fervent prayers and dedication to create a community of love and respect in place of violence and fear. In particular, we hold the Masjid Noor mosque in our prayers as they mourn the loss of their sisters and brothers in faith.
The goal of a terrorist is not only to harm his direct victims, but to traumatize the entire community. In this case, he chose a quiet city in a peaceful country in an attempt to inflame religious and racial hatred. He can only succeed if we let him.
We mourn for those who were murdered and pray for God’s peace to be upon their family and friends.
We denounce the ideology of white supremacy and call upon all decent people to the work for the elimination of such a hate filled doctrine.
We reject the siren of fear mongers who would use this tragedy to build greater walls of division and distrust.
We dedicate ourselves to the creation of what Martin Luther King Jr. called the Beloved Community. Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.
We stand here today with hope. Hope, God’s hope, is a resilient force that grows in the face of evil. God’s hope, the hope for the beloved community, stands up to all evil and may lead us to resist the terrorist’s aims.
As we gather in respect and love we become the beloved community. This is the opposite of the terrorist’s aim.
The beloved community is God’s dream for our world. We stand together for this hope. May God bless the families of the victims with peace and strength. May God bless the members of Masjid Noor with hope for a more peaceful future. May God bless us all with the strength to build the beloved community in Huntington and around the world.