"Jesus said, “Weep not for me; weep for yourselves and for your children…”
— Luke 23:28
As we come to grips with the horror of the shooting that took place at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, our hearts break and we pray for those most closely affected. Once again violence has shattered lives and we, as a faith community, struggle to make sense of senseless violence. Five individuals were shot, four of them students, on Tuesday evening during what should have been a time of celebration and festivities.
Morgan State began as a Methodist institution. Its identity is intertwined with our own. The gun violence that broke out at the homecoming celebration reverberates in other incidents throughout our region and nation. While fear is the natural response, we must not allow that fear to paralyze us. Nor can we become so unfazed by these tragedies that we turn a deaf ear to the pain, brokenness and devastation such incidents cause. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We must respond as if those young people were our children, our flesh and blood, because when any are hurting, all are hurting. United Methodists must take action to curb the epidemic of gun violence. This pain must be our call to action.
And, even as we act, the grief persists, and we are compelled to pray -- for those who were shot, for those whose lives are impacted, for legislators and public officials, and for our young people, who deserve to a safer world.
I hope you'll join me in prayer; I hope you'll join me in action. I hope that together we can mourn, and then move into renewed devotion and efforts to stop this violence as we work to build the beloved community, the kin-dom of God. This is the only way that leads to life.
Blessings and Peace,
Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling
Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware Conferences