I received a phone call from Diann Bailey this morning telling me that there had been an incident at First Church where two swastikas had been painted onto the walkway leading up to the church. Acts such as these must be addressed as they arise, no matter where they stem from. In order to gather the community in an act of solidarity against discrimination and racism in any form, there will be a prayer vigil on the green Wednesday evening at 6:30; I will be participating.
In my time in ministry, I have occasionally come across racial and religious discrimination. I always try to remember that these acts are a symptom of a disease that has plagued humanity from before Jesus' time. In his teachings, Jesus unfailingly defended the marginalized in this world; as a Jew in Roman occupied Israel, he was all too well acquainted with what that felt like. Jesus believed that those who followed him were the earth's best chance for peace, and that spreading kindness with intention was a spiritual act.
I know that there will be a show of support for First Church, and for all of those in the Suffield area who will be frightened or hurt by what has happened. There is no place for hatred in such a good-hearted community, and I know that love will prevail, it always does. So while my heart is heavy, I know that we will continue to hear Christ's words, and that the outpouring of care that will be shown on Wednesday evening will be healing after such a sad event.
I hope to see some of you there, much love, Denise