As you all know, since the tragic slaughter of twenty children and six educators in Newtown, CT, we have struggled to find our voice and make it heard. The Board of Deacons approved and many members of the congregation signed a petition calling for a ban on military assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips. For several months we have worked to realize a public witness in the form of an installation on the front of the church. Deacon Hank Maust has worked tirelessly in recent days, organizing the backpacks you donated. And this morning, it is up, twenty backpacks and six teacher bags bearing the names of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. Our mass media culture has turned us into tragedy voyeurs, with victims and families at baseball games and benefit concerts. It is time that we turn from tragedy as entertainment to rel action. In a diverse congregation, there will always be some who dissent from the majority. That is our tradition and our strength. But this witness is bold and represents the overwhelming majority of our members. I am proud to serve you.
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