Eurobodalla locals gathered at St John’s Church in Moruya this morning in a show of solidarity and support for New Zealand, to pray and pay respects to the victims, survivors, and heroes of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
Anglican minister, Rev Linda Chapman lead those gathered, “We must stand together and show the world that love will win.”
Bernie Richards from Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla says, “Locals who attended the service not only lit candles and rang the church bell once for each victim, we also wrote notes of compassion, unity, and support, which will be sent with a card to both of the mosques in Christchurch directly affected.”
Those who couldn’t make it to this mornings service or who are looking to do something by way of reflection and support are invited to light a candle at home.
Rev Linda Chapman has graciously shared her words and wisdom with About Regional:
We grieve with our brothers and sisters in New Zealand. And we grieve with our Islamic sisters and brothers the world over.
The awful event in Christchurch and other such events can take us to hatred and the desire for vengeance. Or it can take us to compassion. It is heartening and inspiring to see that most people are choosing compassion. Compassion is a breaking open of our hearts in solidarity with suffering such that we grow more tender towards ourselves and others.
Those others include the perpetrators of violence.
There is no question that justice must be served and people protected. Nevertheless, when we fall into ‘camps’ – left wing, right wing, Christian, Muslim, atheist, male, female and so on, in such a way that we feel righteous about sending either verbal or physical incendiary devices, then we all lose.
To speak and act in a way that divides no matter what ‘side’ we are coming from is to keep the cycle of human violence going. The wisdom of compassion is balm for the soul of the individual, for nations and the world as a whole.
The perpetrators of this shocking, life-destroying violence in New Zealand are broken people who will need to be dealt with according to the law of the land. The victims and the people of NZ need to know that we stand with them, we weep with them, we will hold them in our hearts in coming days. And for the good of all we might let this be a reminder to move beyond our ‘camps’ with open hearts and minds.
This might be a time to greet with compassion someone with whom we may disagree all the while recognising our common humanity. We might look into our own hearts for seeds of hatred that we might see them and allow compassion to transform them into loving- kindness.
There is perhaps no more challenging task for the human being than this – to love one another as we would be loved; to love our neighbour as our self, another myself.
May we support one another in this challenge as we remember New Zealand and all.