Dear Friends,

In the Sikh tradition, salvation is obtained by loving your neighbor and God.

Guru Arjun Dev Ji said that minds are like precious jewels that shine in loving God and others. If you love God, then you will not hurt anyone but will love as God loves.

The Garden joins Indianapolis and people throughout the world in mourning the loss of nine souls to yet another act of violence. We have also become aware that half of those victims were from the Shikh community.

As we just finished two weeks of exploring the practice of the Golden rule in different faith traditions, we are keenly aware doing unto others as you would have them do unto you is practiced not only in life but also in death.

So in this time, we join loved ones as they mourn the loss of Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amajeet Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amajit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74.

A Sikh hymn often sung at funerals says, “Like droplets of water are in an ocean wave and the ripples of a stream, I am immersed in the Lord.” May all those who mourn on this day be immersed in the love of and comfort of the Lord.

As in the Christian tradition, in Sikhism, death is not the end. When somebody dies, the soul transitions; the soul and energy transcend and traverse into the universe to help influence other events. Like Christians, Sikhs believe love never dies, and the spirit lives on as well.

The purpose of this statement is simply to join together and mourn. Yes, we must continue to wrestle with matters of preventable violence in our nation. But the time now is to come together in our grief and mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters. To seek a peace that passes all understanding and find a way forward together.

Rev. Dr. Carolyn Scanlan-Holmes
Lead Pastor, The Garden Community Church