Judy Allbee on Violence
It happened again. It involved a shooting at yet another high school, this time on the West coast. And again right here in Bristol there was a domestic violence incident that turned into a murder/suicide. I have been thinking and praying and pondering; worrying and fussing and fuming about violence. It started after the shootings in Newtown. I could not imagine sitting around and doing nothing. I could not imagine not caring enough to find a way to a better day. I cannot imagine that this is God's intention for us. And here we are, many months later, and I do not feel we have moved very far or far enough, neither as ABCCONN nor as individual churches.
Bullying and CyberbullyingThe Parable of the Good Samaritan
An expert in the law asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:25-37) Jesus' response is one we all know well: the parable of the Good Samaritan in which He tells us that our "neighbor" isn't just the person who lives next door to us; it's everyone. Jesus' timeless lessons of love and compassion toward our neighbor should also guide our attitude about bullying. We should avoid attacking, hurting, or embarrassing someone else. We should always think about the consequences of forwarding texts, emails, or videos. But our responsibility doesn't stop there. Loving our online neighbor means reporting injustices and comforting those who are injured just as the Good Samaritan did. Anyone we encounter online is as much a neighbor to us as the injured man was in the parable. The online power each of us has can be just as hurtful as the robbers' blows or as healing as the Samaritan's unconditional love.
Conversations on Violence
On the afternoon of August 2, 2014, over twenty people gathered for "Conversations on Violence - Where is Our Voice?" at First Baptist Church in New Haven. This was the pilot of an ongoing conversation that the Department of Christian Service and Witness plans to spread across Connecticut. Stay posted for the calendar of future locations and dates and make sure to attend.
Talking with Kids About Violence
Violence is everywhere and it seems that in spite of our efforts: prayer, education, and taking a public stand against it, the violence just keeps increasing. Like many of you, I was glued to the TV during the Ferguson disaster. People are killed all the time but this felt so different. I think what kept me watching in horror and keeps me praying was the sight of the teenager's body lying in the street for all those hours for all in the community, across America, and ultimately, the world to see. I don't know if it hit you like it did me, but as I was watching, my mind immediately went to the children in that community; what was going through their minds? How were they feeling? How would they possibly come to know peace and security with things like this happening in front of them?