The world is shocked and shaken by the violation of a peaceful sanctuary filled with the most peaceful of men. This Sunday, the greatest evil disrupted the greatest peace... and Wisconsin weeps. We share the same land, we share in their grief as well.
There are various houses of worship represented in the city of Oak Creek, and we all share the same roads, schools, stores and breath the same air. Family.
About a dozen folks or so sent me messages through the FoundersIntent network the last two days asking what they could do, or where they could send expressions of support. So many folks from Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri.... wanting to show the Sikh community how much they are appreciated for the industry and kindness. So I decided to take the trip up to the Brookfield Temple, the former New Creation Christian Fellowship on North Calhoun Rd.
Heavily staffed by Homeland Security and Brookfield police, I was asked immediately my purpose and when I explained, everyone was very cordial. I met with the wife of the high priest, who lives next door and explained what our members wanted to do, and I asked specifically what is their cultural expression of condolences and community grief. After confirming with the family that flowers and common plants are more than appropriate, I thanked them and gave them my business card.
SOMETHING TO DO AS NEIGHBORS
I decided that as a member of FoundersIntent, I would sponsor an event as a citizen, not as an organization, to send flowers and gifts of encouragement and positive affirmation to the Sikh community. I am a born again Christian who believes in the God of the Bible, and rather than a hesitation it actually makes me want to reach out more. My goal is not to proselytize, but to live truth and compassion. My obligation as a follower of Christ is to live the life Jesus would have lived and wait for God to create the opportunities beyond that. So with that, we created a Facebook Event, and I encourage every read here to go there and confirm your attendance in spirit. It will help show solidarity and support in an online community with millions of members.
Please share this event and invite your friend-list.
The Brookfield temple has two services per week, and we would ask that you order flowers, plants and as life-bearing expressions of support to them in time for these gatherings that will now hold two congregations for at least one week.
They will have a joint service this Wednesday, but will have another on this coming Sunday.
Send floral gifts and written support to:
3675 North Calhoun Road Brookfield, WI 53005
Site of tragedy:
OAK CREEK TEMPLE
7512 South Howell Avenue, Oak Creek, WI
Some Kinda Wonderful
17700 W Capitol Dr # 7, Brookfield, WI
(262) 373-1904 · www.skwflowers.com
A New Leaf Floral Inc
3065 North 124th Street, Brookfield, WI
(262) 797-0959 · www.anewleaffloral.net
Forget Me Knot Flowers & Gifts
2835 North Brookfield Road, Brookfield, WI
(262) 785-6015 · www.forgetmeknotfloral.com
A fund has also been established for the victims and their families of the #templeshooting . Donations can be sent to:
Victims Memorial Fund
c/o Sikh Temple
7512 S. Howell Ave.
Oak Creek, WI 53154
I will say that the best part of the experience was being able to tell they were not bothered, intimidated or concerned at all by my presence or my showing up uninvited at the back door. Calmness and a friendly handshake were the first impressions from a family rocked by the sudden loss of their good friends only two days earlier by a white supremacist who cared little for his fellow man and robbed the world of 6 beautiful people, and worse, millions of peaceful dispositions.
No one should fear their neighbor - no one should fear other cultures. The segregation of society is one of the worst results of social evolution in the last century. I feared most that this event would shatter their own confidence and love for their community, and was assured it did not.
Sikhism preserves the truths of their leaders as sacred teachings. Their first Guru, Nanak wrote:
No one is my enemy.
No one is a foreigner.
With all I am at peace.
God within us renders us.
Incapable of hate and prejudice.
The Bible teaches:
"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."
- 1 John 3:17-18
And our Founding Fathers showed us that:
"All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Cretor with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"
- U.S. Dec of Independence
Thank you for joining hundreds of others (and counting) in this event to show our neighbors that we stand with them, and we fall with them and consider ourselves no different than they are. For as a community binds together in times of peace shows the true character of its people; I pray none of us change when the cameras are gone and the grief subsides.
There is no place for fear - live the life.
For more information on this community expression, please contact: 414.939.3410