In Response to the Shooting in Las Vegas

Dear community and First UCC Congregational members,
   The First United Church of Christ (Congregational) in Milford has offered a witness of hope after several of the mass shootings in recent years. This perseverance is intended to prevent our community from becoming numb to the toll of such senseless violence and to make it clear that it is not becoming any more acceptable just because it keeps happening.
   In response to the shooting in Las Vegas, First UCC Milford offered a candle lighting vigil in front of the Sanctuary on Monday, October 2nd; a service of healing in the Sanctuary on Wednesday, October 4th; and will share in a litany in our two Sunday morning worship servies on October 8th. Below is the litany we will read.
   Please continue to pray for the victims, and please choose how to work peacefully toward a better world with your conscience and the teachings of Jesus as your guide.
God's Peace,

New Haven Register article on October 4th healing service

Leader: We are formed by our experiences.
People: We are formed by experiences of love and experiences of hatred.
Leader: We are formed by images from an Orlando nightclub; in European cities;
People: On the Virginia Tech campus; along gang-tormented city streets;
Leader: in cycles of domestic violence; at the end of lives dragged down by struggle and despair;
People: in an elementary school not far from here; and now among concertgoers in Las Vegas.
Leader: We pray for the dozens of people who died.
People: We pray for the hundreds who were injured,
Leader: We pray for the millions who are afraid.
People: God, we are tired of being formed as a society by such tragic violence. How long will you allow violence by your children against your children?
Leader: "God has told us mortals what is good; and what does the Lord require of us—
People: But to do justice, and to love kindness, and walk humbly with your God?"*
Leader: "Teacher, which the greatest?"
People: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"**

Leader: Justice. Kindness.
People: Humility in our walk with you.
Leader: Loving you.
People: Loving all our neighbors. Loving ourselves.

Leader: Because of your faithful love through Jesus Christ,
People: May we have the grace to live in faith, love and peace that exceeds the world's hatred and violence.
All: God, help us to form ourselves and our children in your loving and peaceful image. Amen.

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