Letter on Sutherland Springs shooting
Dear HPUMC Family,
It is with a heavy heart that I write you in response to yet another national tragedy. I have been overwhelmed with grief over the shootings at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Yet again, violence and evil have impacted a community of faith, a peaceful community, and an entire nation.
In moments like these, there’s a wide range of emotional response from grief to disbelief to anger. Theological questions arise as well. How could a loving God allow this to happen? When will God intervene? What do we do in the meantime? As Methodists, we believe that God’s heart breaks with ours when those who are created by God use the gift of free will to commit heinous and harmful acts against God’s own children.
As a church, we are here for you. If you’d like to talk further, we have a team of pastors available to help you and/or your families process your questions and emotions. We do not always have answers, but we do have a strong faith and the power of community to help one another in times of need.
I also want you to know that the security of our church is a priority of utmost importance. Please know we do everything in our power to protect our freedom to worship safely when we gather at any of our campuses. Our security plan is intentional and comprehensive.
I hope you’ll join me in continuing to pray for the families of the victims and the community of Sutherland Springs. Prayer might seem ineffective and shallow at times, yet the scriptures prompt us to share with God our concerns and grievances. They also call us to act according to our discernment and conscience as public citizens. May God reveal to each of us ways in which we might influence a brighter future for our children.