Dear children of God,
I invite your prayers – and your moral outrage – in the wake of yet another mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that has claimed, so far, the lives of nineteen children, two adults, and a shooter. We pray for the families of those whose worlds have been shattered forever upon the senseless killing of their precious children and loved ones. We express outrage at a system where violence against innocent children and adults often comes through the legal access of weapons without adequate restriction or safeguards. We lament a culture that often fails to recognize the signs and appropriately respond to those who live with mental illness that are judged to be a danger to themselves and/or others. We confess a collective lukewarm response to God’s call to cherish all life, care for all creation, and safeguard the children entrusted to our care.
We come before you, O God, with many emotions – grief, anger, confusion, outrage, and a sense of helplessness. We confess that we have felt these emotions too many times before and seem unable to move beyond the response of “thoughts and prayers” to actions and policies that might lead to different outcomes. We place the families of the children and adults from Uvalde in your loving embrace. Hold them in their grief and surround them with your peace. Guide us to respond with courage and resolve to work toward a place where children may live and attend school free from violence. Equip us to use our influence to bring about change in policies and laws that allow guns to fall into the hands of those who might use them to cause horrific pain and death. Teach us to follow you, O Christ, as the Prince of Peace.
Portion of the 2018 Resolution of the Moravian Church Northern Province, re: Reducing Violence and Promoting Responsible Weapon Ownership:
RESOLVED: The 2018 Synod of the Moravian Church, Northern Province, directs the Provincial Elders’ Conference and encourages the congregations to call on civil authorities to take immediate effective action to reduce violence and the opportunities for violence among the populace, and to provide for and fund adequate mental health facilities where those who are judged to be a danger to themselves and/or others may receive prompt care.