Pastor Joyce's Message

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

It has been more than 20 years since the spate of mass shootings began to startle America. With each mass shooting or just horrific murder, some have called for different kinds of measures to reduce gun violence. Even here in New Jersey with one of the toughest gun laws in the country, we have seen an increase in shootings and deaths.  Victims include young children caught in the crossfire of rival gangs, women fleeing abusive spouses or partners, and targets of racial and ethnic hatred.


What is utterly amazing in the aftermath of all of these shootings is that Congress still has refused to look seriously at reducing gun violence. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the Walmart shooting in El Paso killing 20 persons. I can still buy a gun on the internet or through a private sale.  


Many of the guns used in murders were purchased legally, including the one used by Den Hollander, a misogynistic lawyer who hated women judges. U.S. District Judge Esther Salas made a tearful plea to protect the private information of judges in the wake of the murder of her son. But we need more than that. In our preoccupation with Covid-19 we have forgotten that there is a deadlier killer out there: the ease of obtaining a gun.

Prayer for the Day

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

You have searched us and known us, O God, 

    And we cannot pretend that we are something we are not. 

Forgive us our despair, our hopelessness, and our fear, 

     For we know that they close the doors to living faithfully.  

 Awaken us by your Holy Spirit to a fuller dimension of faith

     Leading us to find in our neighbors the opportunities for love.

  In the name of him who teaches us a new way to live.

Thoughts for the Day

Monday, August 3, 2020

Thoughts and prayers won’t stop a speeding bullet.

Oliver Markus Molloy

American political commentator


We lose eight children and teenagers to gun violence every day If a mysterious virus suddenly started killing eight of our children every day, we would mobilize teams of doctors and public health officials. We would move heaven and earth. But not with gun violence.

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Senator

The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth

   From the rising of the sun to its setting.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God Shines forth.

Our God comes and does not keep silence but

   Calls to the earth that the people will be judged.

 Psalm 50:1–4