Orlando remembrance by Bishop Miller

06.14.16 | News | by Barbara Klauber | by The Rt. Rev. Steven Miller

    The Kingdom of God begins to break through . . .

    A pastoral letter from Bishop Steven A. Miller

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    We woke Sunday morning to the news of yet another mass shooting. While listening to the news as I drove to my visitation in Portage, I heard the announcement that the number of those killed had risen to 50, making it the largest mass shooting in recorded American history.

    The pain of this act of terror was amplified by the fact that it was also an act of hate directed at the LGBTQ community on the weekend when many of the community and others gather in pride and solidarity.

    At our baptism we vow to respect the dignity of every human being. That vow requires not only respecting difference but engaging it by seeing Christ in the other. That is a part of what it means for us to live no longer for ourselves but for him who died and rose for us. It is in this process that the kingdom of God begins to break through. Acts of terror and hate seek to end this holy endeavor by force and by causing us to fear.

    I am reminded of the verse from Luke's Gospel, "The kingdom of God is taken by storm and the violent bear it away." That verse has a particular poignancy for me in this moment and renews my resolve to do all that I can to ensure the passage of sane and reasonable gun laws including required background checks for all gun purchases and a ban on assault weapons. I need you to join me by writing your legislators and going with me to tell them we have had enough of this insanity.

    I also ask you to join m e in prayer. Pray for the victims and their families. Pray for those who are so lost that they embrace terror, that their hearts may be turned. Pray for the shooter and his family.

    On Thursday at 7pm there will be a service of remembrance and hope at All Saints Cathedral. I hope some of you will be able to attend. In addition, I ask that this Sunday in each congregation prayers be offered for all effected by this horrific tragedy and for the coming of God's day of peace.

    Yours in Christ,

    The Rt. Rev. Steven Andrew Miller
    Bishop of Milwaukee