Not so long ago I was writing a special letter to and on behalf of Health Ministries Association, expressing sorrow and encouragement after the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. I’m compelled t‌oday to write another such letter, moved by grief, pain, and yes, anger. We have witnessed, or experienced, three more mass shootings over the last week: Gilroy, CA; El Paso, TX; Dayton, OH. The last two happened within fourteen hours of each other. The last one happened in the town where HMA is based. It leaves us speechless. It makes us weep.

To think of the 251 mass shootings and 22 mass killings so far this year, to think of the 100 people who die by gun violence every day makes us weep. We weep for those killed. We weep for those affected by the trauma and loss. We weep for those so hurt or misguided that they turn guns on others. We weep for our country that allows this to happen.

In our grief, we reach out to comfort those affected. We reach out in our various settings of ministry to promote healing of body, mind, and spirit. In our pain, we speak out in compassion for everyone. In our anger, we shout out for leaders to stop their divisiveness and start working for the common good. In it all, we pray out for peace.

In our grief, pain, and anger we choose love, we choose faith as our beacon and our purpose. May the time come when we live the truth that all that God created is good (Genesis 1). May the day come when weeping ceases and life flourishes (Revelation 21). And may we be part of this vision coming to be.
May peace be with you all.

Rev. Karen MacDonald, M.Div.
HMA President