Message from the Priest-in-Charge

Response to the violence in Uvalde, Texas

Like all of you, I have been reading the news regarding the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. Like all of you, I am shocked and saddened by the murder of 19 elementary school children and two teachers. As a father, I grieve for the parents of those who lost their precious children. As a citizen, I mourn that events like this can occur in our country. The killings that occurred in Uvalde were the act of evil. We do not talk enough about evil in our world, yet the world is full of it. We witness evil in the rising violence in our nation, in Ukraine, in Nigeria, in Syria, in Afghanistan, and even in the small town of Uvalde, Texas.

Jesus taught us to pray for the Lord “to deliver us from evil.” So I call upon you to pray. Pray for those grieving the deaths of these children and adults. Pray for peace amidst the brutality of the world. Pray for the survivors of the Uvalde shootings who will carry the physical and emotional scars of the violence they have witnessed.  As Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion, pray that all would be “protected from the evil one” (John 17:15). Finally, pray that “God’s will be done.” This means that we are to love our neighbors as peacemakers in our communities, ensuring that all people—especially the vulnerable— are cared for. God mourns with us, comforting us in our sorrow. And more than comforting us, God gives us courage. God is more powerful than evil. In this courage, we pray and fight against the evil of this world. Again, I call upon you to pray.

Heavenly Father, we come before you in great sadness, deeply disturbed by the violence enacted in Uvalde. We pray for the children and teachers killed in this crime. We pray for those suffering the unexpected and needless loss of loved ones. In the wake of unexplainable suffering, walk with us. Guide us through our fears and anxious moments, protect us from the evil that surrounds us, and bless us with the knowledge of your abiding presence. By the power of your Holy Spirit, convert the hearts of this world to a commitment to peace, beginning with our own. Heal the brokenness in our land and within individuals that lead to such tragedies. And help us all, in the midst of things we cannot understand, to place our ultimate trust in your son Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and Lord of lords. Amen.

Our clergy are available to support you and your family as you reflect upon these acts in our country.  Please call the church at 615-385-2150 if you would like to speak with someone. You may also visit our Chapel, which is open day and night, for moments of quiet prayer and reflection.

Your servant in Christ,

Colin+

 

The Rev. Colin Ambrose, Priest-in-Charge