A Statement from Bishop Hirschfeld following the Oregon shooting

The following is a Statement from Bishop Hirschfeld following yesterday's mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon:

“In the wake of what has now become an endemic part of American life—a mass shooting in a peaceful community of personal growth and learning—I hope the members of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire are not lulled into a spiritual torpor.  In our prayers may the Holy Spirit pierce our numbness with sharp empathy for those who mourn the dead and for those who are wounded in Roseburg, Oregon.  In our actions, may God lead us to the courage of Jesus who faced down the powers of dominating violence, not with more violence, but with death-destroying love shown on the Cross.

Baptized members of the risen Body of Christ are called to resist the temptation of allowing the heinous actions of a distorted soul to make us more violent. Christians who advocate to take up more weapons in reaction to these acts of evil betray the meaning of our having already triumphed over death in our baptism.   Fear is not a Christian virtue or habit of being, and yet, tragically, we continually cower in the face of those who equate unlimited accessibility to guns with the way of Jesus.  May God lead us through the wounds of these horrible events to a place of deeper trust in God and not the proliferation of deadly weapons.”

 The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop, The Episcopal Church of New Hampshire