[Episcopal Diocese of New York]
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The news of what appears to have been a terror-related attack in Lower Manhattan comes to me as Bishop Glasspool and I are continuing our visit to Bishop Chilongani in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. How difficult it is to be away from our city when it is in crisis!
I join with all in our diocese, all people of faith, and all our city in mourning the lives lost and the chaos visited upon our own streets. I know that opportunities for prayer are already being planned for tomorrow and following days. I urge you to go and be with one another, and pray with one another, and turn a common face toward the God who is balm for weary and broken hearts.
I know that in every church the victims of this violence will be remembered in prayer today, tomorrow and at our Sunday liturgies. Pray also for our country, and for God’s guidance for our leaders. Pray for peace. Pray for understanding across religions, cultures and political philosophies. And pray for ourselves, that we may guard our hearts, that we may by the grace of God respond to hatred with love, and violence with peace.
Once again it is crucial that we do not extrapolate from the violence committed by one man to condemn or blame the larger Islamic community, or to view all Muslims as dangerous. Faithful, peaceful Muslims are as bereaved and angry about these killings as anyone else in our city, and we know the Islamic community to be our friends.
Now is the time when we who follow a God of peace, across our several religions, must stand together against all forces of destruction. Indeed, the love of peace and the renunciation of the evil powers which corrupt and destroy are contained within the heart of our baptismal life. That is who we are.
I long to return to you, and pray for you every one in this hour of our testing. And always I remain
The Rt. Rev. Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York