Bishop Marcus Matthews, Bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church responded to the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in a message, released on September 16, 2013. He called for prayer and action.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
It is with shock and sadness that we received the news of the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard this morning. It grieves us all that what began as a typical Monday morning in Washington, D.C. erupted in violence, bloodshed and death. Even as the details of the tragedy unfold, we mourn for the 13 people reported dead, those wounded and all those whose lives are affected by this tragedy.
In times like this, United Methodists and all people of faith turn our hearts to God, trying to make sense of the violence that has become all too commonplace and seeking healing for those whose lives have been shattered. The atrocious images and stories arising from this shooting break our hearts and send us to our knees.
We are also mindful that the after-effects of the shooting creep into the lives of the 3,000 people who work at Building 197 and even into the lives of all the children in all the surrounding neighborhood schools, who were called to shelter in place as police sought the gunmen. Many of those people attend our churches; many others are members of our communities. As followers of Christ, we are called to help them heal.
And after our prayers are said, we are also called to act to end the gun violence in our nation. We must stand up to the pain these acts of violence inflict. Connected to one another and to God, we must take a stand for peace so that Christ's shalom is available to all.
Our churches are sanctuaries for healing. They are also sacred places of change, where we can enact transformation and live out the Kingdom of God in our midst. I call on all United Methodists in the Baltimore-Washington Conference and beyond to pray. And I also call on you to act -- in the name of God and in the hope of healing and peace.
May God bless you.
Bishop Marcus Matthews