COUNCIL of BISHOPS
of the UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH of the USA
We Grieve With Sutherland Springs, TX
Amidst Devastation a Call to Prayer and Action
The tragic events of the mass shooting at the Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday morning saddened and shocked many people throughout our country and the world.
Since learning of this tragedy, as spiritual fathers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA we have urged all to pray for the victims, the families and first responders. Our hearts and minds are with all of those persons killed or injured, their family members, their friends and their colleagues. A man armed with a semiautomatic rifle killed 26 worshipers at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Their ages ranged from 5 to 72 years old. These killings took place on a day set aside for worship like every other Sunday, in a place like other small and large towns in every state across the country. Yet we note with grief that this is the 377th mass shooting in the United States in 2017 alone. This is why we call upon the elected officials of our nation and the government agencies to take appropriate steps in order to address the violence through the weapons of destruction and not protection. We must come to the firm determination that there is a fundamental problem in our society. A Culture of Life cannot tolerate, and must prevent, senseless gun violence in all its forms.
We pray that the Lord’s mercy will be upon us during this time of sadness, shock and confusion. We urge the clergy and faithful of our UOC of the USA and people of good will throughout the world to turn their hearts and souls to the Great Physician, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Who consoles and guides us through suffering with mercy and tenderness. The healing power of Christ goes beyond our physical wounds but touches every level of our humanity: physical, emotional, social, spiritual. The eternal call of Christ to us all is to remain fervent in our protection of life and human dignity and to pray unceasingly for peace in our world.
With prayers in Christ, the Merciful Savior and Counselor of our souls,
+Antony, Metropolitan of the UOC of the USA
+Daniel, Archbishop of the UOC of the USA