Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: Prayer following Buffalo shooting
Our hearts ache at the news of yet another hate motivated shooting by a person with a racist agenda. When will the killing stop?
We grieve . . . we cry . . . we question . . . we hurt for the families and friends of those who were senselessly killed in Buffalo at a neighborhood supermarket this past weekend. This atrocity reopens fresh wounds from other recent racially motivated hate crimes like last year’s murder spree of women in Atlanta, Georgia, six who were Asian, the 2019 mass killing of 23 Latinos in El Paso, Texas and the 2015 massacre of nine African American people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. There have been more, too, some targeting groups – while others targeted individuals. In addition to those killed, survivors have suffered deep physical and emotional wounds. Each incident diminishes who we are as a society and people.
It all stems from hate. Hate of persons based on ethnicity and race. Hate of the “other.” Hate that focuses on differences, not commonalities. Hate that is the opposite of Jesus’ teachings about love. With this in mind, I offer the below prayer.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
Holston and North Alabama Conferences
God, we pray for the families and friends of the persons who have been killed in the grocery store shooting in Buffalo, New York. We lift up to you the Buffalo community in their shock and loss. We stand in solidarity with the Black community as they are reminded once again of the reality that they are hated by some based on the color of their skin.
We also search our hearts, asking that you reveal to us any semblance of hate and racism toward other human beings. We know hate and racism do not come from you. We acknowledge hate and racism are sinful. We ask forgiveness for any hateful and racist words we have spoken, attitudes we have displayed, thoughts we have had or actions we have taken. We boldly request that in addition to forgiving us, you change us – as individuals and as a nation.
Yes, our hearts ache, God. When will the killing stop? When will the acts of hate and racism cease? When will we love as you love? In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.