Utah clergy plead for calm
"It's our hope that we won't make any rushed or rash decisions to respond," said Rev. France Davis of Calvary Baptist Church, who led his congregation in a special prayer meeting Tuesday night. "We remind them that God is the one who is all-knowing and all-seeing. We encourage them to not be panicky but to be cautious."
Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald, vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, issued a statement noting that "we join other people of faith in prayer for national calm, compassionate response and support for the victims and their families."
The world has too long been divided between the "us" and "them," said Jan Saeed, a member of the spiritual assembly of the Baha'i of Salt Lake City. "Things like this are the crises that cause us to come together. Maybe as an international body of humanity we can come up with a solution."
She added that "I hope we won't become insular but that we will become a global human family" in responding to the attack and its aftermath.
Local Islamic leaders also responded with sadness to the events. "We deplore this act," said Imam Shuaib, leader of the Khadeeja Islamic Center in West Valley City. "Our sympathy goes out to the victims. It is a human tragedy."
Like many local clergy, the Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish, Episcopal bishop of Utah, led her faithful in prayers on Tuesday. "God, the Father of mercies and giver of all comfort," she prayed, "look down in pity and compassion upon your sorrowing servants; lighten the burdens which weigh them down in soul and body; shelter them from the forces of evil; let the light of your presence shine upon them and give them perfect peace."
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