Dear friends,

It has happened again, and this time in an Episcopal Church. Yesterday evening a man attending a potluck supper at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia, a suburb of Birmingham, pulled out a gun and began firing. A church member hit the shooter with a chair and wrestled the gun away, but not before three church members were shot and killed. 

And so St. Stephen’s joins the ever-growing list of places that should be safe — churches, schools, grocery stores — that have see that safety shattered by a man with a gun. I ask your prayers for the people and clergy of St. Stephen’s.

Gracious God, we come before you in pain and sorrow. We grieve with the people of St. Stephen’s. Give your grace to them, that they may find comfort in your presence and be strengthened by your Spirit. Be with them as they mourn, and draw them together in your healing love; in the name of the one who suffered, died, and rose for us, our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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