TVUUC is Praying for Maryville First Baptist Church
As many of you have read on Yahoo by now, a visitor to the Maryville, IL First Baptist Church had a brief word with Pastor Fred Winter at the altar, then shot him with his concealed weapon yesterday. The Good Book he held protected the pastor on the first shot as many saw a confetti like atmosphere at first, but Fred Winter could not protect himself on the remaining fatal shots. Then as the gun jammed, the intruder (link is to the man accused and in jail) pulled a knife and tried to kill himself. He stabbed himself a few times, and as parishioners tried to subdue him, a couple were slashed in the process. All were hospitalized, the parishioners not as seriously hurt, and they were thankfully released later without deep wounds.
Many of BW readers may remember that the Tennessee Valley UU was attacked during a Sunday service of a children's play last summer. It was by a man who was homophobic and upset about his person economic situation. The church members responded in the man shooting in some instances getting in front of the man and trying to get his gun, in attempts to secure safety for the children and others. Two died, some injured.
The community surounding the TVUUC reacted by candlelite vigils, prayers, food, signs, etc. And in a heartbeat, the Rev Chris Buice returned from his brief vacation up north to bring comfort to all, and to announce to the world, that terrorism had no place in their church, and the church rededicated its sacred space to love, security, and my mind, peace. They were resilient.
Today, I wrote TVUUC to ask for Prayers for the First Baptist Church in Maryville, IL. I did this as a UU. The TVUUC has no idea who I am, other than I identified myself as a UU living in IL. Here's Rev Chris Buice's response, within 5 hours today from my filling out an online form to the Church:
Benny, we are sending many messages and prayers of support to the congregation in Maryville with tangible offers of support. Thanks for your concern.
Rev. Chris Buice
Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
The TVUUC gets it, and I appreciate the prompt response in knowing they know what the congregation is going through. More important, it helps me in the healing process too when no place seems sacred to a killer or to anyone.
Thank you, Rev Buice and the TVUUC. We are in faith together.
The Chalice is burning brightly, and won't be extinguished this week in prayer and thoughts for the congregation of the FBC of Marywille, as well as Pastor Fred Winters' family.
It feels good to be a person of faith once in awhile.