Prayer and Action

A number of weeks ago, the school that our children attended in Spokane prior to coming to Minnesota, the school where I have been and continue to be involved with the girl’s high school varsity basketball program, became yet another target for a mass shooting.

I have stayed connected with that community and plan to spend some time specifically with the coaches and the players over the Thanksgiving holiday.

I shared this story and my own grief at the vigil for those impacted by the mass shooting in Las Vegas. I also share the question that a young person connected to that mass shooting asked me: “So I can’t go to school, I can’t go to the mall, now I can’t go to a concert without fear of being shot – where am I, as a teenager, supposed to hang out with my friends?”

And now, after this weekend’s mass shooting, albeit not the first, my sense is that if I were to talk to that same teenager today, she would add church to the list of places that are no longer safe for her to hang out with her friends.

The recent mass shooting at a high school is not the first that has hit far too close to home for me. Over 25 years ago, a number of my campers were impacted by a mass shooting at their high school. Today, so many years later, my complete bewilderment of, “How long, O Lord” is louder and more pronounced than ever. We must find a way to end the divisive posturing and rhetoric and find a way as a country to deal with this epidemic of gun violence.

Please pray for and comfort those who are suffering from gun violence. Please pray and work to bring real change to the epidemic of gun violence. Please pray for healing and strive for peace for all God’s people.

Here are a few resources to guide your reflection and action:

Bishops United Against Gun Violence calls church to pray, elected leaders to act

Presiding Bishop on Texas Church Shooting

Mass shootings in America are a serious problem – and these 9 charts show just why

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