After today's horrific shooting in a Connecticut elementary school where more than twenty children were killed, people all over the country are holding vigils for the victims and their families, and to mourn the ongoing violence in our world. While as Freethinkers we don't believe in appeals to a higher authority, we do believe in community and in communal grief. So while we will not be holding a prayer vigil, feel free to stop by at any time this evening to join with our community in expressions of sadness and in reflection on the fragility of life.
It seems appropriate that one of the ways for us to respond and to process this event is to light candles. The Society for Humanistic Judaism writes, on its Hanukkah page, about the many reasons human beings light candles, ending with: "In lighting candles, we seek connection with the past, with each other, and with ourselves. Burning lights gives us a sense of our strength, vision, and dynamism. They also reflect the complexity of our experience on earth and the delicacy of our co-existence, peaceful or otherwise, here and now. May the lighting of candles always remind us of the dynamic, multi-faceted and fragile nature of our lives. And may the light of candles direct us to seek each other in peace."
We will provide candles for lighting. I would also like for us to consider donating to an organization that works toward ending violence against children, or in helping victims of violence. Please bring suggestions!