Bishops of the Diocese of North Carolina Respond to Shooting in Raleigh
The recurring nightmare of violence has once again shattered a community, this time here in our diocese and our own capital city. Our hearts go out to those whose lives were lost, including an off-duty police officer, and to their families, those who were injured and a neighborhood traumatized by the threat of an active shooter. We are grateful to all those who responded, especially the law enforcement agencies and other emergency responders, who worked in partnership and heroic ways to aid the victims and protect the community.
We must work in partnership, too. Our work to protect one another is part of our call to become beloved community. When some are targeted, all of us respond and stand with those who have been directly impacted. As this nightmarish pattern continues, we work toward another vision, a different dream, of the peaceable kingdom where weapons of violence are fashioned into tools for building community and breaking the cycle of violence.
The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, established this summer to focus on the reduction and prevention of gun violence, has been hard at work even as this destructive cycle continues. In the coming weeks, they will release a webpage currently in development that contains resources for congregations and individuals; the resources are intended to provide educational opportunities about the many elements that contribute to gun violence, access to reliable data, and suggested actions every one of us can take.
The task force has also proposed a resolution for the 207th Annual Convention taking place next month that will help focus our work, as a diocese, through advocacy, community action and legislation. Their tireless efforts, along with many others, are like the parable of the persistent widow in this coming Sunday’s gospel, who pleads her cause until the unjust judge finally relents. The story is Jesus’ invitation to faithful, persistent action, and to hold fast to the promise that the impact of our actions, over time, can effect change for good, that it is holy work at the heart of the gospel call and will eventually bear fruit.
One of the resources on the webpage in development is Bishops United Against Gun Violence. Their litany is a powerful, prayerful way to support this ongoing response. Sadly, today, Raleigh is being added to the list of communities where a mass shooting has occurred. Our prayers are part of the action we take, and they help inspire and invite further action.
Please join with us in praying the litany and in working together to transform this recurring nightmare. Together we can build up God’s promise and the dream of becoming a faithfully persistent beloved community.
For the city of Raleigh, for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
- From the Book of Common Prayer, Prayers of the People, p. 384
God of peace, we remember all those who have died in incidents of mass gun violence in this nation’s public and private spaces.
Five dead in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina,
Give to the departed eternal rest.
Let light perpetual shine upon them.
- From the Bishops United Against Gun Violence Litany in the Wake of a Mass Shooting