Feb. 15, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As another massacre at a school breaks our hearts, I ask that you join with me in prayer for our community in Florida that is frightened and grieving this day, and with all those around the world who suffer violence or turn to violence to express the pain that resides within.
During this season of Lent, we are reminded to turn away from sin and toward God's love. May we do all that we can to renounce wickedness, reject evil and repent of our own individual and collective sin.
Bishop Ken Carter, my colleague in Florida, has written a response to the shooting, which I invite you to read as we join our prayers with his:
On this Ash Wednesday, our services announced the biblical imperative to "repent and believe the gospel." In light of today's shootings, we repent from our participation in a culture of death, we acknowledge the harm we do to others, and we claim the power of the cross that breaks the cycle of violence and retaliation.
We also grieve with the communities of Parkland and Coral Springs, Florida, in the deaths of seventeen persons and the wounding of many others on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
A number of surrounding United Methodist churches have students at this school, and our connection will support their healing ministry in the days ahead.
In Christ's love,
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar