We join with all who mourn the death of the children and their teachers in Uvalde, Texas. We also cry out with the people of Buffalo, N.Y., in light of the racially motivated killings last weekend.

With over 200 mass shootings this year, we acknowledge that it is not enough to point to individual shooters. Their actions are symptomatic expressions of a deeper malaise in our society: of othering, of the lack of social supports for those who are struggling, of the worship of individualism, of legislative gridlock, of structural racism as well as our collective fostering and tolerance of violence.

We affirm that all people, and especially our children, deserve a chance to thrive in a safe and supportive environment no matter what it costs us as a society. As people of faith, we also “affirm God’s goodness at the heart of humanity planted more deeply than all that is wrong.” We believe that we come from love and are empowered to love one another. Our diversity is our strength and gift.

We call on all of us to turn our anger and grief into viable and constructive action. We commit to partnering with willing organizations and legislators to assure best practices of gun safety and the creation of a just, equitable, generous, and compassionate community.

We recognize that the creation of a just, equitable, generous, safe, and compassionate community is not the sole responsibility of willing organizations and legislators, but of each and every one of us. Therefore, we call on all of us to search our souls for ways that we can do more to understand this epidemic of evil and violence which we have tragically witnessed yet again, and to implore our elected officials to help us to turn our anger and grief into viable and constructive action.

Rev. Wendy Anderson, Nativity Lutheran Church (ELCA), Rockport
Rev. Nancy Duncan, Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ, Waldoboro.
Rev. Patty Fox, First Congregational, Church, UCC, Camden
The Rev. Peter Jenks, the Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist, Thomaston
Rev. Seth Jones, Rev. Dr. Seth Jones, Rockland Congregational Church, Rockland
Fr. Nathan March, St. Brendan the Navigator Parish, Camden, Belfast, Rockland, and Islands
Rev. Dr. Ute Molitor, First Congregational Church, UCC, Camden
Rev. Anne Roundy, Broad Cove Church, Cushing
Rev. Michelle M. Wiley, John Street United Methodist Church, Camden