Pray, Repent to End Cycle of Violence
In the wake of the school shooting in Florida, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and the United Methodist Council of Bishops issued statements mourning the victims of the shootings and called for prayers of repentance from the culture of death and cycle of violence.
Bishop Moore-Koikoi said this:
Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the 17 killed and the fourteen injured in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. We also pray for the young man who the police believe committed this horrendous crime.
As we continue in this season of reflection and repentance let us reflect on and repent of the ways we have tried to protect our hearts from pain and thus inoculated ourselves and become numb to mass gun violence. Let us continue in prayerful reflection and discernment about how God might be calling us as a church and individual disciples to rise up to help prevent the senseless loss of life through gun violence.
Give your children and grandchildren an extra big hug today. And take time to reach out to someone who you might sense is feeling isolated or in need of God’s grace and love.
This statement was issued by Florida Area Bishop Ken Carter, who is the incoming president of the Council of Bishops. It reads:
On this Ash Wednesday, our services announced the biblical imperative to "repent and believe the gospel." In light of today's shootings, we repent from our participation in a culture of death, we acknowledge the harm we do to others, and we claim the power of the cross that breaks the cycle of violence and retaliation.
We also grieve with the communities of Parkland and Coral Springs, Florida, in the deaths of 17 persons and the wounding of many others on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A number of surrounding United Methodist Churches have students at this school, and our connection will support their healing ministry in the days ahead.
Resources to Address Gun Violence
- Gun Violence Prevention Cheat Sheet
- A new resource by clergy for clergy on how to engage in conversation on guns and gun violence in a congregational setting.
- Faith and Facts Sheet on Gun Violence
- Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities
- Reflections on gun violence from Micah 4: 1-4
- Issue: Gun Violence Prevention
- Responding to a School Shooting-Three Approaches for Youth Workers