Dec 14, 2012

At the Foot of the Volcano: A Candlelight Vigil For Connecticut Victims

A gunman today shot and killed 20 children and eight adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. President Barack Obama this afternoon delivered a four-minute speech to the nation regarding the tragic massacre.  

6:30 p.m. UPDATE:

Service tonight at 7 at Trinity, Newtown - two families directly affected. Service tomorrow at noon at St. John's, Sandy Hook. Read full update from the Bishops here.

Dear Friends in Christ:

We are shocked and overwhelmed by the horrendous tragedy of the school shooting in Sandy Hook. We hold the victims, their families, and all who are affected by the shooting in our thoughts and prayers for healing and strength. We pray that those who have died will be held in the arms of our loving God whose heart aches for those affected by this tragedy.

We bishops have been in touch with the Rev. Mark Moore, the rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Sandy Hook which is adjacent to the school were the shooting took place. We have also communicated with the leadership of Trinity Church, Newtown, and we understand that the Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd, rector of Trinity Church is on the scene ministering to the bereaved.

We are departing immediately for Newtown/Sandy Hook to be of whatever assistance we can. We will be in contact when we have additional information.

We invite all clergy to open our churches for prayer.

Please keep all who have died, the one who has perpetrated the shooting, and all affected by this incident in your prayers. May the God who we await this Advent season bring us hope and new life in Jesus the Christ.

Faithfully, Ian, Laura and Jim

The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens
The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry

A message from Bishop Marc Handley Andrus on Connecticut shooting

The mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, is a terrible tragedy that takes our total attention, everything we can bring to bear in prayer. We know that we must look at, wrestle with, understand, and confront the root causes of these mass shootings that are occurring with greater and greater frequency across our country, and indeed throughout the world, and I commit myself to this work; it is essential. For the murderer to wear a mask, black clothing, and body armor, as some reports have said, in order to attack a school full of children is clearly the work of a deranged mind, but I suspect that beyond the individual gunman’s sickness there is something of terrible enormity in our culture that we must comprehend.
Now though is not the time for that work, or even to speculate about it beyond naming it. This is the time for mourning, and for standing with the families and loved ones of the victims; with the people of Newtown and Connecticut as a whole; and the Diocese of Connecticut. Standing, mute, most likely (as who has words for this sorrow?), but standing with hands upturned to a God who is completely, lovingly present with all that lives and dies on this planet.

I and the Diocese of California are standing in prayer with the Diocese of Connecticut, as we seek to absorb unspeakable sorrow.

+Marc Handley Andrus
Bishop, Diocese of California

Statement from Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde on the shootings at Newtown, CT

Thus says the Lord:?
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.?
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,?
because they are no more.
Jeremiah 31:15-17

We are united tonight in grief.

Tomorrow shall we unite in resolve to ban weapons whose only purpose is to kill large numbers of people?

And to make it as easy to get mental health care as it is to buy a gun?

I join Dean Gary Hall of Washington National Cathedral in calling on our national leaders to enact more effective gun control measures. We know from experience that such calls go unheeded. But what if this time, you and I took up this issue and wouldn’t put it down until something was done? You will be hearing more about this from the dean and me in the days ahead, but for the moment, let us join in lamentation, in mourning and in prayer. Today we grieve, but soon we act.

Arise, cry out in the night,?
as the watches of the night begin;?
pour out your heart like water?
in the presence of the Lord.?
Lift up your hands to him?
for the lives of your children
Lamentations 2.19


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