Doubtless you have heard that last Thursday, a gunman killed three parishioners at a potluck dinner at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. We mourn for fellow Episcopalians Walter Rainey, Sarah Yeager, and a third victim who has yet to be identified. And yet we know that this tragedy in one of our own churches is just one more instance of the scourge of gun violence afflicting our country.
We are people of faith. We believe in a God who makes all things possible, even an end to senseless death and suffering as a result of gun violence. I ask your prayers for the people of St. Stephen's, for the victims and their families, and for an end to this unconscionable and unnecessary plague. Much has been made of the hollowness of leaders who offer only "thoughts and prayers" on occasions like this one. But we know that true prayer leads to righteous and sustained action.
Bishops United Against Gun Violence offers a variety of spiritual and practical resources for you to use in prayer and action. I hope you will join me at All Saints' this Sunday as we gather in sacred communion with those grieving and fighting for change.
Steven D Paulikas