New York Conference
United Church of Christ
May 15, 2022
New York Conference Family:
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
Once again, we must face the grief, and anger at yet another loss of innocent life. Sadly, this time the tragedy has hit very close to home. All hearts of the New York Conference join in sorrow and sadness for those families who suffered loss or harm yesterday in Buffalo. Our minds cannot fathom that in the blink of an eye such a tragedy could occur again.
While we certainly offer prayers and words of comfort and encouragement, we must recognize that words and prayers are not enough. As people of faith, we are called to stand united against hatred of every kind, knowing that we are bound together as one human family and none of us are free, until all of us are free. Free from oppression, free from racism, free from the fear of senseless gun violence. Like many of you, I too am angry, but it is a righteous anger that will not allow hate and evil to have the final say.
Tomorrow your Conference staff, along with other New York faith leaders will meet in Buffalo with Governor Kathy Hochul, to strategize on what our next steps will be to address hated and gun violence in our state. This is our sacred call and responsibility.
Yes, our hearts our heavy tonight, but we will not despair as people who are without hope. For we serve a God whose love knows no bounds, and we take comfort in knowing that “earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.” Be encouraged.
Rev. David Gaewski, Conference Minister
New York Conference, United Church of Christ