WSCF-NA Statement and Prayer on Sandy Hook School Shooting

God of peace and comfort...

Statement and Prayer on the Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, CT, USA  [ View as PDF ]

We, the WSCF of North America (WSCF-NA), are deeply saddened and struck with grief for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last week in Newtown, CT. The end of a safe environment for the children and teachers of Newtown resonates with the whole country in the shadow of violence.

The escalating gun violence that has plagued the United States has reached a pivotal point in which the most innocent of our citizens were victims to unnecessary violence. The guns that were used in the incident were used on the gun’s owner, then a group of innocent children and their school faculty. While the details of the events are still unfolding, the lives of all involved are forever changed and survivors are left with a trauma that will affect the rest of their lives.

We acknowledge that this incident, along with the many incidents that have happened before, are part of multi-layered and complex societal issues and must play an important part as a testimony to the political changes that need to occur. The gun climate in the United States has become one of turmoil and confusion. The culture of violence surrounding this episode is not different from the one relating to numerous mass massacres that have occurred in the last few years. Children dying in a senseless school shooting are as defenseless as those who are killed by bombs in wars waged and fought in other countries. We pray therefore that our politicians and law-makers take it seriously to bring the debate on gun control and violence in general to the decision-making halls and bring about the necessary change we need to foster a culture of peace in North America and in the rest of the world. As students and young people of faith committed to peace with justice, we deplore the culture of violence that envelops the United States and we will remain committed to creating a culture of peace in the country and elsewhere.

We would like to remember the selfless acts of the faculty and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary school that sacrificed their own lives in order to save the lives of their young students. We want to prayerfully remember the family and friends of the 20 young victims that lost their lives on that day, as well as the 6 women who lost their lives protecting their school. We also want to remember the suffering that the Lanza family is currently going through in their unique role in the situation. We would also like to thank the first responders for their quick and brave response to the elementary school.

WSCF-NA calls the church to express a clear stand of solidarity with the victims of Newtown, CT and calls for an end to gun violence in the US. The WSCF also calls for the United States to start a serious national debate on the country’s culture of violence and the need of significant changes in its socio-political arena in this regard.

God of peace and comfort,

Guide us now, more than ever, to be peace bringers to an ever- increasing violent world. Give us the wisdom and the courage to make a difference so that violence does not rip apart families and communities. Bring peace to the families of Newtown whose lives have been forever changed. Bring knowledge to the teachers in the rest of the nation who are having to face their classes and answer questions they should never have to answer.

Guide the leaders of the United States to bring needed changes in the country’s legislations on weapons, to ensure that such rampages will no longer occur.

God, also give us the wisdom to know that this shocking violence is everyday violence in other parts of the globe. Bring peace and comfort to all those places experiencing violence during this advent season. While we as a church are waiting the celebration of the arrival of Christ, let the world wait for the arrival of peace, and please let that peace come very soon.

In Christ’s glorious name we pray, Amen.

 

On behalf of the North American Regional Committee,

 

Emily Tynes, Advocacy and Solidarity Coordinator

Hierald Kane-Osorto, US Co-Chair

Luciano Kovacs, North America Regional Secretary