“A Message And Prayer In The Wake of the UVA Shooting” by Susan E. Goff
Dear People of the Diocese of Virginia,
As we continue to hear news about the shooting at the University of Virginia last night, we lament. We cry with broken hearts for those who have died and those who are injured, for the students, faculty and staff of UVA who remain in lockdown at this hour. We cry that gun violence continues in our communities and that it touches, one way or another, the lives of all of us. In our pain, our anger and our fear, we pray:
Holy God, source of all hope and all peace, we come before you yet once more in the hours after a school shooting, this time at the University of Virginia, this time within our own Diocese. We lament with broken hearts as we hold up to you the young people who have died, those who are injured, and all who are in fear and grief as the lockdown continues. We hold up to you as well all first responders and the officers who continue the search for the shooter. Be with our Canterbury House students, our campus chaplains at St. Paul’s Memorial and Christ Church, the clergy and staff of all our Charlottesville congregations, and all whose lives are touched by their ministries. Be with all students, faculty and staff of UVA. Give us strength through prayer, clarity of mind to know how to respond in love, compassion for all your people and, please God, a commitment to doing everything possible to end gun violence in our schools and towns and cities once and for all, so that your people may live in safety at school and in all the places that their lives take them. We pray this all in the name of the Prince of Peace, whose heart broke on the cross so that ours might be healed, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
As we learn other concrete ways that the support of our Diocesan community will be needed and helpful, we will let you know. God bless us all.
Bishop Susan Goff