Seeking Freedom from Violence

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Dear Members of St. John the Baptist Church,

No doubt you are concerned about the terrible loss of lives from mass shootings in our country, especially the recent killings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. I am with you in your heartfelt prayers for the victims, their families, the injured, and even for the troubled persons who plan and carry out such violence.

As Christians, we are not about hatred or revenge. We do not condone attacking people who are different. We suffer when innocent families are torn apart by misguided violence. We are especially angry and confused when little children are killed or made parentless because of some senseless act.

What can we do as a church family? We can pray for all whose lives have been shattered. We can pray that violence ends and that common sense and unity overcomes the hatred we see so often in our nation. In our local community, we can listen to young people who may feel alienated or disillusioned by the chaos they see in the world. We can offer a different perspective, one of kindness, peace, and understanding.

If we want peace and harmony, we must become living examples of peace and harmony. As one Episcopal Bishop has said, “Never forget, my friends, that our ultimate hope lies not within ourselves or even our country but in the way, the truth, and the life of Jesus Christ. We dream for a world free from violence precisely because this dream is not originally ours: it was first and always the dream of God for all humanity.”

Pray for God’s guidance, protection, and love. Pray that we may love as Jesus loved, and that we may find the courage and will to follow him.

Peace and Blessings,

Fr. Dave