Monday, 28 July 2008

Statement by ICUU President on the Tennessee Valley shooting

(This is the statement sent by Rev. Brian Kiely, President of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, regarding the tragic news of a shooting inside a Unitarian Universalist church in Tennessee (USA).)

Dear U*U Friends around the world,
I have just learned of a terrible incident in the United States that touches our UU family. A single gunman went into the Tennessee Valley UU* Congregation in Knoxville, Tennessee and opened fire. The man was not known at the church. Details are still unclear, but it appears that at least one person is dead and several others wounded.
On behalf of the ICUU, I have sent the following message to the Tennessee Valley Congregation, to UUA President Bill Sinkford and UUA Moderator Gini Courter:
Dear Fellow UU's
On behalf of the Executive and all the national groups represented at the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, I am writing to offer my deepest condolences in the wake of the Tennessee Valley tragedy.
We are shocked an outraged at the violence and violation committed in the sanctity of your church home, a place meant to be a safe haven. More importantly, we are deeply saddened by the loss of life, and the physical and emotional injury this terrible act has brought into your community.
We pray for you and with you in this time of trial. We pray that you will find the strength necessary to survive and rise above this crisis. We hope that your community is able to come together and be the source of strength it has always been for you and that this sad event will help bring you even closer through shared grief and shared healing.
The thoughts of Unitarians and Universalists the world over are with you in this tragic time.
Rev. Brian J. Kiely
International Council of Unitarians and Universalists