May 25, 2022
Dear People of St. Paul’s ~
I am heartbroken. As of now, 19 children and two teachers have died in a mass shooting in Texas yesterday. As a nation, in the past ten days, we have witnessed people gunned down in Buffalo while grocery shopping, in Laguna Woods while praying, and now children in Uvalde while attending school. It is too much.
Perhaps you, like me, are outraged and sad. Maybe you are wondering when this will end and what you can do.
The Bishop of West Texas sent out this urgent request:
Pray. We must pray. Ignore the cynics, and pray with all your heart. Let your cries reach the heavens. Let your anger and despair be your prayer. And listen to God answering in return. Look for God’s tears revealed and listen for his perfect and righteous anger. Give yourself over to opportunities to join in the Spirit’s work of binding up and healing. Love with all you’ve got, and never, ever surrender to the darkness. -Bp. David Reed
Some say that prayers are not enough. I say it is all that we have. Prayer isn’t just a silent moment or words out of the prayer book. It is the offering of ourselves, our whole hearts up to God. It is listening and responding to how God calls us to be in the world. Prayer changes everything. As a people grounded in the hope and love of God, let us pray so that we can be the community where this doesn’t happen again.
Please join me in person tomorrow [Thursday, May 26] at our noon-day service in the chapel. In that service, we will offer up all the names of those who have died in the past two weeks due to mass shootings.
Please pray with me now, in your homes, or wherever you may be, with some words from our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry.
Giver of life and love, you created all people as one family and called us to live together in peace. Surround us with your love as we face the tragedy of gun violence again. For the children and adults who were killed at the Robb Elementary School, the many who were wounded and hospitalized, the traumatized, grieving survivors, those known to you alone.
God of righteousness, You have granted our leaders: our President, the governors, members of Congress, courts, and legislatures, the power and responsibility to protect us and uphold our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Strengthen their devotion and our devotion to our common life to define the clarity of purpose for all.
Dear Lord, we pray for all lives that have been forever changed and broken by the scourge of gun violence, for all who from malice for illness are instruments of violence and death, and for all who have died yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Please be with those overwhelmed, enraged, frustrated, and demoralized by the plague of gun violence, give us all the sense of your presence, and plant seeds of hope, the courage to love, and the resolve to act.
Loving God, make us an instrument of your peace. God of Justice, help us as your church, help us as a country find our voice and do what is right for the sake of life, for your dream is a world where your children are safe, and we all live together without fear. Amen. -Bp. Curry.
Thank you for being a community grounded in the life-changing, life-giving practice of prayer. May we hear and be united by God’s call to be a people of love and peace.
The Rev.Krista Fregoso