Statement from Bishops United Against Gun Violence Following the Las Vegas Shooting

Bishops United Against Gun Violence, a group of more than 70 Episcopal Church bishops working to curtail the epidemic of gun violence in the United States, released this statement today.October 2, 2017

We share in the grief and horror of people across our country and, indeed, around the world in the wake of last night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. We have spoken with our Bishops United Against Gun Violence colleague and brother in Christ, Bishop Dan Edwards of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada, and we have offered him and the people of Nevada our prayers and promises of assistance. We stand in solidarity with the diocese and the people of Nevada as they cope with this massacre.

It has become clichéd at moments such as these to offer thoughts and prayers. But as Christians, we must reflect upon the mass killings that unfold with such regularity in our country. And we must pray: for the victims, for their loved ones, for all who attended to the victims in the immediacy of the shooting, for the first responders who do so much to mitigate the awful effects of these shootings, and for the medical personnel who will labor for many days to save the wounded. We must also enter into the sorrow of those who are most deeply affected by our country’s cripplingly frequent outbursts of lethal gun violence. We must look into our own hearts and examine the ways in which we are culpable or complicit in the gun violence that surrounds us every day.

Visit the Bishops against Gun Violence web page for the complete statement and a pdf link to download.

On Tuesday, October 3 at 9 a. m. Pacific time, churches across the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada tolled their bells in mourning for the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas. Congregations across the country tolled their own bells in solidarity at the same time: 9 am Pacific/10 am Mountain/11 am Central/Noon Eastern. The bells were rung 59 times, matching the number of dead reported at that time including the perpetrator of the violence.

Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows rang the bells at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis as did other parishes in the diocese such as St. John’s, Lafayette, where the tolling of the bells was followed by the Great Litany and Noontime Eucharist in the Chapel of the Resurrection. Other Episcopal parishes and congregations of other denominations joined in the memorial bell tolling both in Indiana and across the nation.

Video about the observance was broadcast locally in Indianapolis and Nationally on NBC Nightly News and other outlets as well.   

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