Sisters and Brothers of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin,
This is a correspondence that I am not overly eager to write, however I’m afraid not to do so would make me complicit and therefore, potentially you as well.
I have every confidence you have and continue to join me in offering prayers for victims and families in Parkland, Florida.
As a people called to embody love, to strive for justice, and to foster peace, our prayers for those involved in this horrific event must be more than a plea to God. As I have said on innumerable occasions, when we pray, God reflects our prayers back to us thus calling us to consider our own responses.
And so, as we pray for people in Florida may we reach out to local and statewide ecumenical leaders, law enforcement and legislatures encouraging an earnest conversation.
There is little question that the events in Florida, Nevada, Connecticut, Texas and far too many other places to name raise questions and concerns regarding mental health. However, I strongly suggest that to disregard gun violence prevention from this conversation is done at our own peril.
When Episcopal Communities start this conversation or engage in the networks where these conversations are taking place in our respective contexts, I am confident changes will occur.
I want to assure you my intent here is not to make a political statement. It is however a call to remain true to our baptismal covenant and to continue to emerge into who we are Called to be… Therefore, our prayers must lead us to the challenging conversations in the days before us.
I urge us to consider the ways we can make a difference as we embody love, strive for justice and foster peace in Christ.