Presiding Bishop’s pastoral statement on the Buffalo shootings

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My heart is heavy with the news that a white supremacist gunman took the lives of 10 children of God in Buffalo on Saturday. I grew up walking distance from the scene of this hateful crime, and my friends and I used to ride our bikes around the neighborhood. Buffalo’s Black community raised and formed me. I grieve with the city and people I love.

The loss of any human life is tragic, but there was deep racial hatred driving this shooting, and we have got to turn from the deadly path our nation has walked for much too long. Bigotry-based violence—any bigotry at all—against our siblings who are people of color, Jewish, Sikh, Asian, trans, or any other group, is fundamentally wrong. As baptized followers of Jesus of Nazareth, we are called to uphold and protect the dignity of every human child of God, and to actively uproot the white supremacy and racism deep in the heart of our shared life.

Please join me in prayer for the shattered families in Buffalo. Please also join me in expressing profound gratitude for the intervention by Buffalo police that likely saved many other lives. Even amid tragedy, even when manifestations of evil threaten to overwhelm, let us hold fast to the good. It is the only way that leads to life.