Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
In the wake of yet another mass shooting in the United States, we find ourselves searching the depths of our broken hearts…hearts that will never completely heal in the face of such senseless and devastating violence. And, what we become increasingly aware of each time we are faced with the shattering reality of such assaults is that, for some of us (in this case, the LGBT community), the reality of this type of violence draws even nearer. And, as a result, not only are basic freedoms compromised, but the very core who we are as creatures of God seems to be shaken. Every single shot fired is not only an attack on our common humanity, but it is also an attack on the very image of Christ that is held within each one of us.
However, as we stand at the foot of the cross, we know that death does not have the final word in Orlando, or in San Bernadino or in Charleston or on any street corner where hate has been used as justification for violence. Weeping may rule the night, but the light comes in the morning and we draw strength from a God who will never leave us. As Christians, we are called to a time of prayer, but I also believe that in times such as these, we are also called to action. May we renew with vigor our efforts towards sensible gun control. Only days ago, we wore orange as a sign of solidarity in this effort. May each innocent life lost be cloaked in a promise that they will never be forgotten. And finally, may all of God’s creatures…no matter one’s gender, sexual orientation or race, find the world a safer and more generous place.
You are all in my prayers,
The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of Louisiana