BLOG: Not again....

by Rev. Dr. Jeffrey M. Gallagher

Violence. It happened again. Now what?

It happened again.

Again.

10 dead. More injured. Countless traumatized, there, here, everywhere. That's 45 school shootings in 2015; 295 mass shootings in 274 days this year, sources say. In my mind the number is simply: too many.

It was Umpqua Community College this time in Oregon. This time. There have been too many times. Too many times. Too many.

It could have been our community, our students, our teachers. But it wasn't. Though it was. We're all a part of the Body of Christ. When one part of the body hurts, we all hurt.

Today we hurt. A lot. Because once again violence has maimed our body. Once again. Once would have been too many. But it happened.

Again.

And so we lift up our prayers. We pray for the affected. We pray for those left behind. We pray for the shooter. We pray for a world in which something like this could happen.

Again.

And we believe that God will comfort those who mourn, those who grieve, those who cry, those who shake their heads in disbelief.

Again.

But then we can't just sit back and wait. We must do something to stem the rising tide of violence. We must do something to care for those who feel violence is the answer to the challenges they have in life. We must do something. And that something must be love. We must spread love into our little corner of the world, into our community, believing it can make a difference -- believing a kind act here in Tolland can heal a wound in Roseburg.

And it can. And it will. It has to.

Unfortunately it has to.

Again.

So we have to act. Now. And again. And again. And again.

And again.

And again.

God calls us to nothing less. And the world is counting on nothing less. The world is counting on our love.

Again.

And again.

And again....

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey M. Gallagher
Written by:

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey M. Gallagher

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey M. Gallagher is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Senior Pastor of the United Congregational Church of Tolland, and author of the book Wilderness Blessings: How Down Syndrome Reconstructed Our Life and Faith. An avid runner, New England sports fan, and Tolland Soccer Club coach, Jeff, his wife Kristen, and sons Noah and Jacob have been residents of Tolland for just over a year.