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The Rev. Dr. Randolph W.B. Becker
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Key West
August 3, 2008

Last Sunday, a congregation of people just like us, lit a chalice flame just as we are about to do.

They lit that flame as a symbol of an ancient religious tradition which holds dear such liberal values as respect for the worth and dignity of all people.

Before their time of worship could conclude in its natural course, violence intruded. Gun shots erupted, heroes responded, and lives were changed forever.

Yet, from those who were there has come a message this week: that while their lives have been changed forever, while loss and grief and mourning take hold of their hearts and spirits, the reasons for them to gather as a congregation have not changed.

Still strong are values of inclusion, respect, acceptance, and hope.

Just about an hour ago, in the very space where violence interrupted lives a week ago, that congregation lit their chalice again

With the same values, vision, and hopes that have sustained this religious tradition for millennia:

A belief that working together with all people we can help to create a world which will transcend hatred.

So, we light our chalice flame in solidarity with those people in Knoxville who have courageously kindled their flame of faith and hope again

And enter into a minute of silent honor for all good people everywhere who live, and sometimes die, to keep the light of liberal religion alive.