Bishops of the Diocese of North Carolina Respond to Shooting at UNC-Charlotte
By Diocesan House
The bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina - the Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman, bishop, and the Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, bishop suffragan - offer a statement in response to yesterday's shooting at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte:
We are stunned, once again, by the sudden and incomprehensible violence that has shaken our community at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte. The loss of life and grave injuries to others are both heart wrenching and bewildering. How can this be happening – again and so soon? It was just three days ago we shared a statement in response to the violence at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California.
In trying to process that violent act this weekend, during the course of conversation someone described the processing pattern as “numbing down,” meaning the frequency of these traumatic events leaves us unable to feel or to act.
We understand it, but we do not accept it.
We will not allow ourselves to be victims of this vicious cycle. We hold those who were injured and killed in our hearts and our prayers. We will continue to work for the values Jesus taught us to embody: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” This is God’s call to each of us, especially in the wake of yet another tragedy that could have been - and should have been - avoidable.
A colleague and friend, whose community has endured several shootings in recent weeks, shared that he has moved gradually from a sense of despondency to determination. Determination to change this pattern. Determination to work for peace. Determination to break the cycle with words, with action and with prayer. As Hebrews reminds us: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Our faith assures we can make a change. Hope alone is not enough. If the cycle is to break, hope must be partnered with action. We hope for peace, and we work for peace. We hope for love, and we reach out to our neighbors. We hope for healing, and we make ourselves vulnerable to the sufferings of others. Our faith is in Christ, whose love is the center and source of all our hope.
Our brothers and sisters in Charlotte, and all who love them, are not going through this alone. The bishops and local clergy are in touch with the leaders of our campus ministry, and all stand ready to support and respond to the needs of those most affected. Do not doubt your prayers will help give them the strength and wisdom to navigate these days, and we ask that you keep an eye on diocesan communication channels, as we will be sure to share any requests that come from the Charlotte area.
Tags: Our Bishops