WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the latest mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the Very Rev. Randy Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, issued the following statement:
On Sunday at Washington National Cathedral, we joined churches around the world in celebrating All Saints Sunday, where we give thanks for the saints who have gone before us and whose lives point us to God.
At that same moment, a troubled young man opened fire inside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, leaving at least 26 dead and 20 more wounded.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,” Jesus tells us, in words we read on Sunday as the carnage was unfolding in Sutherland Springs. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
So here we are once again, left to grapple with another mass shooting, another house of worship cordoned off as a crime scene. Once again, we find “thoughts and prayers” important but inadequate as this country becomes numb to the evil of gun violence. Once again, our leaders are doing too little to ensure that weapons like these are kept out of the hands of the troubled and the mentally ill.
Even so, we remain committed to fight evil with love. As we comfort the mourning and pray for all the saints who lost their lives on Sunday, we remain undeterred in our work for common-sense solutions to keep all Americans safe. Our doors will remain open, and we are determined, in the words of the Beatitudes, to “hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
The great hymn for All Saints looks to a “yet more glorious day” when “the saints triumphant rise in bright array.” “We feebly struggle,” the hymn proclaims, “while they in glory shine.” May all the saints of Sutherland Springs rise in glory, and may we honor their memory by building the peaceable Kingdom of God here on earth.
West End Strategy Team
(202) 776-7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org