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In 2016 I wrote a letter in response to the Orlando mass shooting which killed 49 people. The shootings in El Paso and Dayton were the 13th and 14th mass shootings since Orlando. The death toll is now 200 innocent victims since Orlando.

These pointless deaths are the result of greed and cowardice. The collusion between the Congress, White House, NRA and the $28 billion gun and ammo industry is the cause of epidemic killing in America. The hundreds of bodies piling lie at the doorsteps of power in Washington, Fairfax and state houses throughout our nation.

In following the non-violent example and teachings of Jesus my congregation will continue to speak truth to power to promote the well-being of all people, in a world where conflicts are resolved through non-violent communication, without resort to violence.

As Leonard Cohen sang, “I can't run no more with that lawless crowd while the killers in high places say their prayers out loud, but they've summoned up a thundercloud, and they're going to hear from me.”

Violence is never the answer.

More people carrying more guns will never stop the killing. Hatred and bigotry of all kinds will lose. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or the next day, but eventually. Love will always win. May God’s peace and comforting presence be with all who suffer because of fear, greed, suspicion, hatred, ignorance and violence.

Peace,

Rev. Michael R. Grogan, Pastor

Congregational Church of Lincoln City, United Church of Christ

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