October 3, 2017 Message from Rev. Justine Sullivan

My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
So much has been destroyed.
I have to cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world. –Adrienne Rich


We once again find ourselves in the midst of horrible news of horrible, seemingly random violence. Some 59 dead, hundreds more wounded, and how many more injured in less visible but no less devastating ways by witnessing the bloodshed, feeling their own terror? At 12:30 today, many people will gather on the steps of City Hall in Gloucester to grieve and to call for action against gun violence. Many local clergy will be there, and all who can get there are invited to attend.

Our thoughts and prayers may indeed be insufficient, but I believe they are necessary; they draw us together; they call us to our highest resolve, and they comfort us. So let us pray. Let us hold those who are suffering in our hearts. Let us hold those dear to us ever closer. And let us hold our elected officials accountable for getting these rapid-firing weapons off the street. No one can convince me that a person needs 40 weapons (the gunman had 23 weapons with him at the time of the attack and at least 19 more in his home) or any weapon that can shoot hundreds of rounds in an instant. Like you, I am heartsick about this. May our tears and our outrage propel us forward to action.

I will open the church tomorrow evening (Wednesday, 10/4) from 6:00 to 8:00 if people would like to come by to pray, to sing, to sit quietly, to be reminded of our connection to one another.

Peace and Love to you,


The Reverend Justine Sullivan

Interim Minister

First Universalist Church of Essex

59 Main Street

Essex, MA 01929


T 978-768-3690