Gun Violence Remembrance
Sunday, August 3rd at 10:00 am
In light of the recent tragic shootings at the Unitarian Church in Knoxville, TN, where one of Davenport's former congregants Monica Castaneda and her family now attend, all are encouraged to stand together with the QC Unitarian Community at the Unitarian Church on Sunday at 10 a.m (August 3). The church will hold a special service of healing and remembrance for the shootings at Knoxville 's Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. All are welcome.
A labyrinth/walking meditation and journaling will be available before and after the service for those who mourn and are seeking peace—for themselves, for others and for the earth. Rev. Butts will lead the service.
We stand up for justice, for tolerance and to offer support and consolation to the church community in Knoxville. There will be no peace until we can accept one another.
I send along a letter from Monica Castaneda about what happened last weekend and one of the lessons she took from it.
Last Sunday morning my husband made banana pancakes for breakfast. I was sitting there admiring the eating capacity of our two boys, 5 and 2, and how my husband has been increasing the quantities in his recipe over the months to satisfy their morning hunger and still have some to carry in their lunch box to go to church. After breakfast I got the kids and myself ready to go. Then I saw my husband walk to the bathroom saying he was going to shower. We were already running a little bit late and I was surprised to see he wasn't ready and hadn't even showered yet. He said, "Why don't you go ahead with the boys and I'll meet you there later." I agreed, but when I got to the kitchen to fetch their lunch box with the pancakes I changed my mind, and decided that it was more important for us to be together as a family on a Sunday morning than to be on time. I could as easily have left, annoyed at my husband's tardiness on such a special day as this. You see, I had promised my kids that I would take them to see the play "Annie Jr." that the children of our church had put together during summer camp. That morning I listened to the voice of love, instead of to the voice of annoyance and I will forever be grateful for it.
We got to the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church in Knoxville, TN at 10:21, right after the first police car arrived. In fact, the police car passed us on Kingston Pike and I felt the first pang of fear when I saw him turn on the driveway to our church. The second pang came when we saw the officer get out of the car with what looked like a sniper's rifle. Then a couple of young women told us there had been a shooting and while I was trying to convince myself this was probably a quarrel or a burglary, they shouted "people have been shot, you have to leave!" At that time they didn't know that the perpetrator had been submitted and disarmed by members of the congregation.
I am sure you have heard the rest in the news.
Now that the initial shock is over, I am once again reminded that there are many things in life that I cannot control, some over which I don't even have a say, but there are also many things in my life in which I can make a difference. One of these is my home, what I put in it and how I take care of it. The care of my home cannot be separated from the care of my family. At times like these it is even more important that I create a tranquil and loving atmosphere in our home. We have many friends that were touched by this tragedy in a variety of degrees. It is important that we stay loving and centered ourselves so that we can provide support and comfort where needed. This applies to us adults as well as to our children.
Work to make your home into an embrace of love. Let go of things that you don't use, don't like, don't love, and those things that are reminders of bad times. Make sure all the living beings in your home, people, pets and plants are thriving. Fix what can be fixed, hire help for what you cannot do yourself. Make a plan, budget your time and your resources. Make sure to leave some time every day to recharge your batteries, to do something that nourishes you and that you enjoy. These are the basics of a happy home.
And when you need to choose between the voice of love or the voice of fear, anger or annoyance, always choose the voice of love.
May you be blessed by Feng Shui!
Monica P. Castaneda