Pastoral response to the gun violence in Uvalde on May 24, 2022

Read the Rev. Lauren Lukason’s (Sabbatical Priest) and The Rev. Emily Garcia’s (Family Ministry Consultant) responses to the mass shooting in Uvalde on May 24, 2022.
Explore resources for responding to gun violence on our website.
Response from our rector, The Rev. Nick Morris-Kliment, on sabbatical in Jerusalem:
Greetings Siblings in Christ, from the Land of the Holy One,
One of the most powerful experiences I have had here in Israel/Palestine was a gathering of our small pilgrim group with Mina and Wa’il. Mina and Wa’il, an Israeli and Palestinian respectively, are committed to working together for a just and lasting peace in a land saturated with violence between Israelis and Palestinian (although one of the things that I have learned is that in this very complicated place one can be both a Palestinian and an Israeli…. ) A few days earlier at the Yad Vashem Memorial and Museum we contemplated the horrors of the Holocaust alongside hundreds of young Israeli soldiers, all in their late teens and early 20s. They weren’t carrying their weapons inside, but out on the streets and at checkpoints, in public places all over the country, they are carrying automatic weapons and wearing body armor. As the father of two teenagers, I was moved to tears by Mina’s and Wa’il’s task of raising their children to turn away from escalation and revenge, and towards seeing every individual as a human being worthy of respect.
The reality of gun violence has again pierced the suburban bubble that many of us inhabit. Being here has reminded me that much of the world lives with the threat of violence every day. Part of my own reaction to learning about the latest US gun atrocity has been to double down on my own visceral disgust with those whose idolatry (in my view) of gun rights threatens (in my view) our common good. My contempt helps no one and is a reminder that real peace must begin in our (my) human heart, as well as in popular, sensible legislation. This was a very important part of Mina and Wa’il’s witness to us – that peace must begin with nurturing our ability to see in each and every person another human being, even in those we imagine to be our enemies. Sounds like the Baptismal Covenant to me.
Our days continue to be packed with sites, sights, smells, sounds, reflection and prayer. I share a sampling of photographs from the past week including a photograph with the Rector of Christ Church, Nazareth. Abouna (Father in Arabic) Nael has met Bishop Harris on pre-Covid pilgrimages from the Diocese of Massachusetts led by her.
Please pray for me as I pray for you.