Called to be Peacemakers

The general secretary responds to the mass shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, TX.

The United States is once again grappling with another mass shooting. And again, in a place of worship.

We lift up to God those who have died and those who have lost family members at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, TX. May they be enveloped in God’s comforting peace and healing now and in the days to come.

This violence continues to desecrate churches, neighborhoods, schools, concerts, movie theaters, and clubs. Our communities are being ripped apart by gun violence.

As heartsick as this makes us, we cannot and must not throw up our hands in defeat. To do nothing to combat the evils of gun violence is irresponsible and contradictory to Christ’s call to be peacemakers.

What do we know? What can we do?

We know that mental health is frequently a factor in gun violence and mass shootings.

  • Advocate for lifting the ban preventing the Centers for Disease Control from researching gun violence as a public health issue.
  • Advocate for expanded access to quality mental health services.
    Call your members of Congress at 202.224.3121

We know that access to deadly weapons makes shootings worse and more frequent.

  • Advocate for expanded background checks and a ban on assault weapons.
    Call your members of Congress at 202.224.3121.

We know that domestic abuse becomes deadly—and deadly on a larger scale—when weapons are accessible.

We know that when we feel hopeless – and when words are not enough – the Spirit of God intercedes for us. We can trust in the word of God and the comfort of community to lift us up and lead us to action.

  • Read the United Methodist Book of Resolutions #3428 “Our Call to End Gun Violence” for ideas.
  • Pray for God’s wisdom and healing for communities and leaders.
  • Speak with others about gun violence and what our communities can do to prevent it.

May God be with First Baptist Church and the community of Sutherland Springs. May healing come for all who suffer from the unrelenting terror of gun violence in the United States.