May 26, 2022
We, the clergy of St. Paul’s, are writing in light of yet another school shooting, this time in Uvalde, Texas. This one follows the massacres in Buffalo, NY and Laguna Woods, CA last week. Like many of you, we are filled with grief for the lives lost and for the families who mourn them. Our hearts go out to the many communities torn apart by such acts of wanton violence.
We are also weary of leaders who fold their hands in prayer but offer to do little else. “They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,” the prophet Jeremiah proclaims, “saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace” (Jer 6:14). Our baptismal vows call us to prayer coupled with action, not silence. We reject empty rhetoric that perpetuates unspeakable violence and enables federal legislative paralysis on gun policy.
Our bishops +Sam and +Anne offer the following response:
“It is possible the U.S. Senate will take up debate on legislation that could help reduce the frequency and lethalness of mass shootings. An example would be the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, a bill that would require more extensive background checks on gun purchases. While the chances of the Senate actually enacting sensible gun policy may seem remote, our senators need to hear from us and know the passion in our hearts and the determination in their communities that steps must be taken to protect the safety of our citizens from the dangers of guns in the hands of those driven by evil in its various forms… It is time to make our voices heard, and do not doubt our voices matter. Today, those who need to hear them most are in our Senate. Let Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis know that what happened in Uvalde, what happened in Buffalo, what happened in Parkland and Sandy Hook and Charleston and too many other places has to stop. Make a call, send an email or write a letter. The Episcopal Church offers resources, including Church positions, for you to use as guidance.”
On this Feast of the Ascension, let us remember the Risen Christ, who sent the Holy Spirit among us to comfort those who mourn. And let us take courage in the Spirit who enables us to witness to God’s redeeming work: not solely in prayer, but in word and action.
The Rev. George Adamik
The Rev. Javier Almendarez-Bautista
The Rev. Alice Graham Grant
The Rev. Candy Snively
The Rev. Antoinette Wike
A Prayer for Uvalde
O God our Father, whose beloved Son took children into his arms and blessed them: Give us grace to entrust your beloved children of Uvalde to your everlasting care and love, and bring them fully into your heavenly kingdom. Pour out your grace and loving-kindness on all who grieve; surround them with your love; and restore their trust in your goodness. We lift up to you our weary, wounded souls and ask you to send your Holy Spirit to take away the anger and violence that infects our hearts, and make us instruments of your peace and children of the light. In the Name of Christ who is our hope, we pray. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. David M. Reed, Bishop of West Texas
Tags: From the Clergy