Prayers of support, offers of assistance, and advice from those who have faced tragedy near their own homes have been spreading rapidly across the social network sphere and have been pouring into the Massachusetts Conference office.
Massachusetts Conference Minister and President Jim Antal has been receiving a steady stream of communication from his counterparts in other Conferences since the bombings in Boston on Patriot's Day.
"Connecticut stands ready... in prayer and more, should you all have the need," wrote Interim Connecticut Conference Minister Chuck Wildman. "We wish you to convey our sadness and our readiness to provide whatever assistance we can offer. Newtown taught us that disasters can happen anywhere, any moment."
Other religious leaders have responded to the tragedy with these statements:
Massachusetts Council of Churches Statement on the Boston Marathon Bombing
“Behold, I will bring health and healing to the city; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” ~ Jeremiah 33:6
Our hearts are heavy in Massachusetts. On a great day of civic pride and joy, our city of Boston was scarred by violence. We grieve for those who have died. Bodies made to run and cheer were wounded. Our eyes are burned with images of terror in the very streets where we walk. Attend to us, Great Physician.
We do not yet now why this has happened. Preserve us from quick judgements, O Lord. Give us wisdom in the days ahead. Reveal to us peace and truth.
We sing the African-American spiritual “guide my feet, while I run this race, for I don’t want to run this race in vain.” In this time of uncertainty and fear, we cling to the sure promises of our God that we do not go on in vain.
Even as we grieve, we will remain steadfast in charity, defiant in hope, and constant in prayer. We are grateful for the prayers and support from across the country and the globe. Please continue to pray for the victims. Pray for our first responders, our elected officials, and the media who work with such trauma and return home to their own families. Pray for those without permanent homes who live in our public parks, displaced by this violence in our city. Pray for the marathoners, tourists and visitors far from home.
The Massachusetts Council of Churches joins our prayers with citizens throughout the Commonwealth. In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, may our God indeed bring health and healing to the city.
The Rev. Laura E. Everett
Massachusetts Council of Churches
Open and Affirming churches respond to the Boston Marathon tragedy
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Healer.
Open and Affirming congregations throughout the United Church of Christ will be holding the people of Boston and our UCC congregations in Massachusetts in thought and prayer as the Boston Marathon tragedy continues to unfold.
We ask your prayers
- For those who were wounded or killed and their families.
- For the people of Boston, for marathon runners, staff and volunteers.
- For parents and pastors who are comforting their children.
- For our congregations in Massachusetts--especially in the Metropolitan Boston Association--for the staff of the Massachusetts Conference, and for all people of faith as they turn to the wisdom of their traditions for understanding and comfort.
- For the emergency services in Boston, the hospitals and their staff who are treating the injured, the police and FBI who are investigating the crime, and all in public service who are working to protect us.
- For all of us who are united in grief, that in the midst of death we can, in time, experience the Resurrection hope that violence and hatred will not be the final word in our lives, or in our world.
We especially hold in prayer the staff and members of two Open and Affirming churches that were directly on the Marathon route and near the scene of the attacks: Old South Church and the Church of the Covenant.
Your responses to the tragedy can be shared on the Coalition's Facebook page at facebook.com/ucc.coalition. Look for "Boston Marathon Response" post at the top of the page: you may comment on that post and link to any resources for healing, worship, pastoral care or preaching you think may be helpful.
The Leadership Team
UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns
Bishop Ulises Muñoz of the Pentecostal Church of Chile shares words of support and solidarity (translated from Spanish).
Receive my greetings and best wishes of blessing from the Most High. I am writing to express our concern and feelings of solidarity for what happened in the Boston Marathon. It is regrettable that a concentration of men and women athletes has been tarnished by situations that do not contribute a project of peace and harmony with a healthy (regard for the) lives of human beings.
Receive our solidarity through prayer of the Pentecostal Church of Chile, and please convey this feeling to our brothers in Massachusetts.
With Love And Peace,
Bishop Ulises Muñoz