May 28, 2022
Dear PJ's Community,
This week hangs heavy. How do I even find the words to say? So soon after the horrors of last week in Buffalo, where a racially-motivated teenager murdered 10 people in a grocery store, we were bombarded with the news of yet another mass shooting. This one in Uvalde, Texas, where the victims were 19 children and 2 teachers at an elementary school.
Here in Connecticut, we remark on how eerily familiar this sounds, close to ten years after the events of Sandy Hook in 2012. And what has changed since then? There are more guns. I learned this week that guns have surpassed automobile accidents to become the leading cause of death for children and teens in the U.S. That makes me feel so sick and angry I don’t know what to do. It seems such an easy thing to address, right?
The timing of this news is particularly poignant. This past Wednesday marked the 2-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. This coming Monday we remember those who gave their lives for this country, and the ideals of freedom and democracy it is supposed to represent.
People keep saying that we need more than just “thoughts and prayers.” We need action, policy change, police reform, mental health care, and above all, serious restrictions on guns. And we need these yesterday.
Yet as years and shootings and killings go by without any significant change in gun control legislation, and rooted in my faith in a God who is present in even the darkest of times, I feel like all I can do in this moment is pray, and pray hard.
O God, I pray that today is the day that the people’s cries are loud enough to rattle those with the power to do something about the gun epidemic in our country.
I pray for the loved ones of the victims, that they may find solace and comfort in their grief.
I pray for all whose lives are forever changed and broken by gun violence.
I pray that we all, including myself, never get lulled into numbness, complacency, or forgetfulness.
I pray for the troubled souls of the shooters, that no one else follows in their footsteps.
I pray for those whose lives were taken, that they may rest in peace and safety in the palms of Your almighty hands of love.
And, if we all pray hard enough, long enough, loud enough… I must believe that someone will truly hear us.
Almighty and merciful God, whose only Son came to preach peace to the nations: Hear us, we beseech You, and comfort us with Your steady Hand, as we come before You this day in the wake of unspeakable violence. In a world that seems hopeless, help us to remember that our hope rests always in You, and in the resurrection of Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
For resources, action, and prayers from the Episcopal Church on gun violence, we recommend Bishops United Against Gun Violence.
PJs Wardens and Vestry