Dear colleagues and friends,

 

As the tragic consequences of gun violence continue to plague our country, we add to our prayers the people of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and the Diocese of Alabama. We commend to Almighty God the souls of the two victims who have died, and to Jesus’s healing care the one injured and all those who grieve.

 

As well, may we commit ourselves ever more fully to advocating for effective gun safety legislation and reducing the culture of violence that continues to put God’s beloved at risk. While we hear throughout holy scripture the encouragement that we not be afraid, we pray that our fear may be replaced with the courage to act boldly.

 

Please consider joining with fellow communicants of the Diocese who are participating in the three Zoom conversations about gun violence. The second conversation will be held on Wednesday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m. and will focus on what to do in our local congregations. This conversation will include participants from across Province V. The third conversation will be on Wednesday, June 29 at 7:00 p.m.and will focus on what can be done in support of the community and political initiatives. More information is available. While this event is free, registration is required.

 

As well, I encourage every congregation to offer a book study of our colleague the Rev. Rosalind Hughes’s excellent book, Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence. I reiterate my offer to reimburse any congregation for the cost of the books.

 

May the Holy Spirit empower us to act with increasing confidence in God during this season after Pentecost.

 

Gratefully,

 

The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.

Bishop of Ohio