I renew my request for your prayers in light of the most recent outbreaks of violence in our nation this past week, in particular the shooting death of Alton Sterling that took place in Baton Rouge, and of Philando Castile in Minneapolis; as well as the attack upon police officers in Dallas that resulted in multiple deaths.
I remind you that our Diocesan Convention in 2015 passed a resolution concerning “A Diocesan call to prayer, dialogue, and community bridge-building” that responded to incidents of police use of force in minority communities across the country in 2014. This resolution called for the members of the diocese “to pray for those whose lives have been personally and painfully affected by these events. Petitions should include prayers for the injured, the deceased, their families, those whose businesses were destroyed in the ensuing protests, local law enforcement teams, first responders, elected officials, and those who live in communities polarized by the national debate over local guidelines governing the use of police force.” In addition, the resolution called for the members of the church to equip themselves spiritually to confront the sin of racism.
Our Convention in 2016 also called for the formation of a Diocesan Task Force to promote racial reconciliation in these troubled times. This work continues.
Please pray for our nation in the weeks ahead: for justice, healing, and reconciliation.”
The Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt
Bishop of Tennessee