27 May 2022

Message from Bishop Jose from the Diocese of Western North Carolina

 A good friend of mine is now the Bishop of the Diocese of Western North Carolina.  He offered this email this week, which includes not only prayers, but also recommended actions in response to gun violence.

Good resources here,

Pray, and ACT! 

In Christ's Peace,


May 25, 2022
Dear friends,

Yesterday, we received news of a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. At present, there have been two teachers and nineteen young students confirmed dead. I am angry and I am grieving. Tonight, there are families in shock and parents staring at 19 empty beds.

This shooting comes just ten days after another shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, a racially motivated attack that killed ten people. Those families haven't even begun burying their lost loved ones.

This upcoming December, we will recognize ten years since the Sandy Hook Massacre. And yet, here we are again, having these same conversations and feeling this same inexplicable anger, grief, and loss over the murder of innocent people and children.

Enough is enough!

I am inviting all of our churches to join me tomorrow, the Feast of the Ascension, in a day of prayer and action. As the disciples of Jesus did so long ago, let us gather in prayer and ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to descend upon us and our land. As a sign of our faith in his promise and our commitment to take action, as well as our solidarity with the grieving, I ask our churches to toll their bells for 10 minutes before Noonday Prayers.

However, thoughts and prayers are not sufficient this time. Yes, pray for the families, the loved ones of those whose lives were taken too soon. But as Christians, we are also called to live out our faith in the world in action, for "faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." (James 2:17) It is time --in fact it is long past time -- that we begin to take action to protect our siblings in Christ, to take tangible steps to support responsible gun legislation and advocate for those who's voices have been taken away. This is not a partisan issue. It is a public health issue, no matter your political party, no matter your background or your language or your culture. As followers of Christ it is our duty to work tirelessly to ensure no more lives are stolen through gun violence.

Below are some resources in order to take tangible action:

It is time to take urgent action. While the issue before us won't be solved overnight and we may feel overwhelmed by the horror of it all, we are called to join those in our communities working to advocate, teach and build relationships to enact positive change. Gun violence is a public health crisis that will only be rectified with intentional, consistent steps. The time for that action is now.

The Rt. Rev. José A. McLoughlin
May we remember the names of those who lost their lives:

Roberta A. Drury, Margus D. Morrison, Andre Mackneil, Aaron Salter, Geraldine Talley, Celestine Chaney, Heyward Patterson, Katherine Massey, Pearl Young, Ruth Whitfield

Eva Mireles, Uziyah Garcia, Amerie Jo Garza, Xavier Javier Lopez, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, Nevaeh Bravo, Eliahana Torres, Makenna Lee Elrod, Ellie Garcia, Irma Garcia, Jackie Cazares, and those whose names we do not yet know...
The Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina
900B CentrePark Drive
Asheville, NC 28805