Hearing the Voices of Jonestown

By Mary McCormick Maaga | Go to book overview

APPENDIX C
A Witness to Tragedy and Resurrection

Barbara and I were on a retreat last Sunday when I was called out of a meeting. I returned my sister's phone call and was told of the assassination of Congressman Ryan and the others. Mike and Foofie Faulstich brought us home. On the way, Mike said: " John, this is your calling." I knew what he was talking about.

We have been called to bear witness to the word God speaks to us now. I say "We," because you are as much a part of this as I am. There is no witness to the Word apart from rise hearing of it.

Barbara and I are here by the love and strength of God which we have received through your caring and your prayers. I never imagined such a personal blow, but neither could I have imagined the strength that has come to us. We are being given strength now to be faithful to our calling.

I am a sponge. If my voice breaks or there is a long pause, I want you to know that it's all right. I am preaching this morning because we alone can make our unique witness, and today is the day to make it.

Following the sermon, we shall join in prayers of intercession for all of the people involved in this tragedy, from those first shot down to all who died, and all who grieve.

During these past days, we have been asked frequently: "How did your children become involved in Peoples Temple?"

There is no simple answer. We are given our genetic ancestry. We are given our families. We are all on our personal journeys. All of these, along with the history of the race, converge upon the present wherein we make

____________________
This sermon, which Rev. John V. Moore gave at the First United Methodist Church in Reno where he was serving as Senior Pastor, was delivered only seven days after the tragedy at Jonestown. The Scripture texts he used as its basis were Exodus 20:1-6 (the first and second of the Ten Commandments) and Matthew 25:31-46 (the Last Judgment).

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Hearing the Voices of Jonestown
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Introduction xix
  • 1 - Who Were the Members of Peoples Temple? 1
  • 2 - Deconstructing Jonestown 14
  • 3 - The Triple Erasure of Women in the Leadership of Peoples Temple 32
  • 4 - Restoration of Women's Power in Peoples Temple 55
  • 5 - Three Groups in One 74
  • 6 - From Jones the Person to Jonestown the Community 87
  • 7 - Freedom and Loyalty, a Deadly Potion 114
  • 8 - Conclusion 136
  • Appendix A - Jonestown Demographics 145
  • Appendix B - Suicide Tape Transcript 147
  • Appendix C - A Witness to Tragedy and Resurrection 165
  • References 169
  • Index 175
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