A word from the Bishop

Bishop LaTrelle Easterling calls for prayer in wake of Great Mills High School shooting

Posted by Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling on

This morning there was a shooting at Great Mills High School in St Mary's County in Southern Maryland.

Initial, unconfirmed reports indicate that three students have been shot. Our hearts reel and break at the news of this, the 16th school shooting in the United States this year. As people of faith, we pray -- called to hand the situation over, as it unfolds, to the heart and grace of God.

Our prayers are tinged with grief, sadness, anger, and helplessness. And yet, we know prayer is the most powerful action we can take at this time, trusting that God will be present in the lives of all those who have been affected by this violence. James 5:16 tells us that the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. They avail much; they matter in ways we can only begin to understand.

As we pray for the students, faculty, teachers and their families, we also pray that gun violence will be stemmed so that our nation's children don't have to live in fear. Last week, students at Great Mills High School walked out during a student-led protest against school violence following a mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida. This weekend, hundreds of thousands of students are expected to raise their voices in a March for Our Lives to end gun violence in Washington, D.C. and at 829 events worldwide. We pray for these students, too, as they seek justice and hope.

I am deeply grateful for our pastors and lay leaders who are opening their doors to the community, offering their sanctuaries as places of peace and healing. I am also thankful for the Rev. Rebecca Iannicelli, the district superintendent of record, who is working with churches in the area to provide this coordinated effort. This is our United Methodist witness at its best.

The time for action will come. In this moment, we turn our hearts to God, confident that God hears the deepest cries of our heart and will never leave us alone. We claim our hope, in the name of Jesus the Christ. Let us pray. 

Your servant in Christ,

Bishop LaTrelle Easterling