Gun Violence, Las Vegas, Missouri

“We were greatly distressed to learn of the dreadful events in Las Vegas last night. The scale of the loss of life and the numbers of injured is truly shocking. We are sending our deepest condolences to you and to the people of your diocese –in particular, the people of Las Vegas. We are praying for the families and friends of those who have died and for the many people who have been wounded. We remember, too, everyone else caught up in this tragedy–including the emergency services (first responders). We pray that the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ will be with the people of Las Vegas as they endure this trauma.” —statement from the Primates of the Anglican Communion to Bishop Dan Edwards and the people of the Diocese of Nevada.

Presiding Bishop Michael reads the Primates’ statement on video, prays with us the Lord’s prayer, and closes with, “God bless you, God keep you, and may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.” Online here.

Our country is feasting on anger that fuels rage, alienation and loneliness. From the White House to the halls of Congress to our own towns and perhaps at our own tables, we nurse grudges and resentments rather than cultivating the respect, concern and affection that each of us owes to the other…” Full statement from the Bishops United Against Gun Violence

An invitation from the Bishop of Nevada and the Bishops United went out to Episcopal parishes to ring their bells on Tuesday morning, once for each person who died in the Las Vegas mass shooting, and many diocesan parishes did so. (The photo is (c) from the Rev. Leslie Scoopmire of the big bell at Christ Church Cathedral.)

Churches in this diocese also responded with vigils and prayer services these past days.

The ongoing work in this diocese of preventing gun violence

“The outpouring of heartfelt grief in response to the massacre in Las Vegas adds to the tragic reality of gun violence in our nation–on average, more than one mass shooting of greater than four people and hundreds of individual homicides, unintended shootings and suicides by gun every day. As communities of faith, we’re called to focus our pain and outrage on replacing indifference, misinformation and emotional numbness with evidenced-based public policy, concerted action and humble prayer.” –The Rev. Marc Smith, Bishop’s Deputy for Gun Violence Prevention in the Diocese of Missouri

These past weeks in iSeek, we’ve been including images from this ministry and you can read a synopsis of this work online at:

This week’s episode of JesusHacked podcast is a conversation with Brenda Phillips, member of Christ Episcopal Church in Cape Girardeau about her call to the ministry of preventing gun violence, and how the church participates.

Other related episodes are

  • Marc Smith on his work as the Bishop’s Deputy, “A gun violence epidemic and our response
  • Cathedral Provost Kathie Adams-Shepherd, “Finding Light in Darkness,” (part one, part two). Provost Kathie was the pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown, CT during and after the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. She shares how one finds light in darkness, and is sustained by acts of Grace.


***** reprinted from iSeek, Episcopal Diocese of Missouri weekly email *****