A Statement on the Violence in my Hometown of Cleveland, MS and the Violence in the City of Buffalo

I’m sure that many of you have heard of the shooting on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. As many of you know, this is the town in the Delta where I grew up. Watching news reports of another campus shooting in my hometown (seeing my own street live on CNN filled with armed officers) brought home to me again the reality of the epidemic of violence that seems to be impacting the whole nation. Here in Western New York there have been 13 shootings in the last month in the City of Buffalo alone.

I find myself searching for something that I can do to help end this violence.

There are no easy answers. As people of faith we know that not even death is the final word. As a church, we must find ways to bring hope and life to the mists of despair and grief and death.

As a diocese, I hope that we will have opportunities to talk together about how to do just that. As we gather as a diocese in worship with St. Philip’s on Saturday morning and with the Anglican-Orthodox dialogue on Sunday afternoon at our cathedral let us lift in prayer the deep need for human and Christian unity.

I ask your prayers for Professor Ethan Schmidt, who was killed at Delta State (and was a parishioner of Calvary Church in Cleveland) and for the two men who were shot on East Amherst Street in Buffalo that same night. Pray for them, and for their families, and all communities that are forever changed by violence in their midst.

Yours in Christ,

+Bill

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