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ZZZ-RETIRED September 17 Letter from Rev. William Sinkford: People of Faith Respond to September 11, 2001

Dear Ministerial and Religious Education Colleagues,

Events of the past week have tried our faith. Like most of you, my emotions swing from fear to sorrow and then, sometimes, hope. Through all the uncertainty though, our sacred responsibility for the spiritual needs of our people in this tumultuous time is clear. It calls to us and we heed.

My friends, you have honored us all by responding to the call. I have seen you at your best, comforting, guiding and healing, in services from Washington to Boston. I've heard from your grateful parishioners around the country that your doors have been open and your services filled with truth and hope. You are, as one of them said, "the spiritual firefighters of this tragedy." I'm proud to be counted among you and thank you profoundly for your efforts.

The work is not over. Our national response to the tragedy will, no doubt, call for ongoing ministry from our depleted spirits. We have the healing ahead and it will be challenging. Already, some like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, would lay blame near our door. They indict the vulnerable: gays, lesbians, pro-choicers, the ACLU, Muslims and People for the American Way; for these atrocities. They accuse folks we stand with and will now have to stand for.

I'm working with all the Unitarian Universalist Association staff to help you with your task. We are providing liturgical and religious education resources electronically. We are asking field staff to encourage mutual support and coordinate regional responses. And, I am making myself as available as possible to you and to the media. Let me know what else we could do by emailing me at president [at] uua [dot] org.

There is a long struggle for the gentle soul ahead. Our Unitarian Universalist tradition of freedom and tolerance has been at the heart of the American spirit since this nation's beginnings. It has sustained generations of our forebears and it will sustain us now. Our work is for today and for the times we shall never see.

Yours in faith and thanks,

Bill Sinkford

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