ULS President’s Newsletter | Fall Term 2018-19
Volume I, Issue 19
During my time at ULS, I have been fortunate to connect with many individuals on a personal level. Whether it was about schooling, sports, or hobbies, I always appreciate finding small things in common with new colleagues. One such example is a staff member named Joe who was an undergraduate where I completed my Ph.D. (in the city I was raised), the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY. We often chat about being “proud Cardinals” and what foods we miss from the area.
Unfortunately, this week, Joe and I shared several moments of anger, fear, and anxiety about that region when it was reported that a gunman killed two African-American citizens at a supermarket within blocks of where we both lived, decades apart, in the Jeffersontown area of Louisville, KY. News reports later stated that the gunman tried to enter a predominantly black church minutes before the attack. The violent deaths in Jeffersontown occurred in a supermarket often visited by my family when we lived in Kentucky. One of the people murdered was a classmate of my sister-in-law.
The shootings at the Jeffersontown supermarket reminded Dorothy and me of the shooting of Rep. Gabby Gifford at a grocery store where we often shopped near where we live in Tucson, AZ. Rep. Gifford was severely injured, and several people were killed by a deranged young gunman, including an 8-year-old girl, who died far, far too young.
On Saturday, I received a notification on my iPhone about the tragic shootings in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. The opening line of the article read “Once again, a gunman entered a house of worship and opened fire.”
We offer our prayers for the victims of these terrible crimes and for their families, and we know that we, and they, can take comfort in the Lord. In times of tragedy, it is well for all of us to remember that God consoles us, God comforts us, and justice flows from God. As the poet said in Psalm 9,
“It is God who rules the world with righteousness; God judges the peoples with equity. The LORD will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in time of trouble. Those who know your Name will put their trust in you, for you never forsake those who seek you, O LORD. Sing praise to the LORD who dwells in Zion; proclaim to the peoples the things God has done. … God will not forget the cry of the afflicted.”
ULS will hold a vigil for the victims of the shooting at Tree of Life Temple at 7:00pm on Thursday, Nov. 1st, at the United Lutheran Seminary Chapel, Gettysburg Campus.
Just and merciful God, you who are love itself cannot abide hate. Lend us your strength to oppose the wicked who seek to do harm to your children through misguided malice, through fear of those who are different from them, through the perversion of your Word. Open our hearts to them as well, that we may love them as Christ loves us all, sinners that we are. Cherish the souls of those departed, soothe the grief of their families, and use us, Lord, to heal the world through the message and the steadfast love of your son, our Savior Jesus Christ.