As I write this message the headlines blare with yet another mass shooting, this one at a medical facility in Tulsa. Even as we grieve Buffalo, Laguna Woods, and Uvalde, we are forced to reckon with Tulsa. I find myself overwhelmed and at a loss for words, unsure of the way forward.
I am certain that prayers are essential, but they must be embodied and enacted prayers, not merely spoken or thought ones. At the prayer service in the wake of the murder of elementary school children and their teachers, I said to those gathered that if we prayed, left, and moved on, we were hypocrites. We cannot become numb to these horrific events.
I know that the Holy Spirit speaks when God’s people gather together and seek God’s will. To that end, I would like to invite you to join me in discerning what we are called to do to quell the carnage of gun violence in our country. I am reading The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic written by psychologist Jillian Peterson and sociologist James Densley. I would like to have conversation partners, prayer partners, people of faith with a variety of perspectives and opinions join me in discerning God’s call to us for such a time as this.
If you would like to be a part of this endeavor, please purchase the book, and start reading. We will meet at 5:30 on Zoom beginning June 15. The discussion schedule will be as follows:
- June 15: Chapters 1-3
- June 22: Chapters 4-6
- June 29: Chapters 7-9.
Once we finish the book we will talk about where we see the Spirit leading us to act.
I come to this open to whatever the Risen Christ is saying to our church, praying for ears to hear. I have more questions than answers. However, I am certain that as disciples of Jesus Christ we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, and this includes doing whatever we can to create neighborhoods where people live in safety and without fear.
If you have questions, please reach out to me. I hope to see many of you on Zoom on June 15.