Prayers for Victims of School Shooting in Connecticut

December 15, 2012

Episcopal Relief & Development joins the bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut and leaders of the Episcopal Church in praying for those impacted by the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. We have reached out to our local contacts and stand ready to offer assistance in this difficult time.

The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut released a statement on Friday afternoon noting that the diocese’s bishops had been in touch with the rectors of two local churches, one immediately adjacent to the school where the shooting took place. “We are shocked and overwhelmed by the horrendous tragedy of the school shooting in Sandy Hook. We hold the victims, their families, and all who are affected by the shooting in our thoughts and prayers for healing and strength. We pray that those who have died will be held in the arms of our loving God whose heart aches for those affected by this tragedy,” said the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens and the Rt. Rev. James E. Curry in their joint message.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, posted a call for prayer and action: “We grieve with the many families and friends touched by this shooting in Connecticut. We mourn the loss of lives so young and innocent. We grieve that the means of death are so readily available to people who lack the present capacity to find other ways of responding to their own anger and grief. We know that God’s heart is broken over this tragedy, and the tragedies that unfold each and every day across this nation. And we pray that this latest concentration of shooting deaths in one event will awaken us to the unnoticed number of children and young people who die senselessly across this land every day.”

The Rt. Rev. Stacy F. Sauls, Chief Operating Officer of the Episcopal Church, also issued a pastoral letter: “I know nothing to do now but ask your prayers. Please pray for those who have died and for their families and loved ones. Please pray for those who grieve. As difficult as it is, please pray for the shooter, too. It will stretch our hearts, and now is a time when our hearts need stretching.”

Episcopal Relief & Development has developed resources for parents and church leaders ministering to children following disasters. Please download “Working with Children After a Disaster: Tips for Parents and Teachers“, and visit the US Disaster Program resource library for additional resources.

Please continue to hold the people of Newtown and their families and loved ones in your prayers.

For the Human Family

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us
through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole
human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which
infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us;
unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in
your good time, all nations and races may serve you in
harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

-The Book of Common Prayer, page 815