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Reflection After the Mass Shooting in San Bernardino

by Ed Bacon, Rector of All Saints Church

Before we had much information about the details of yesterday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, I posted on our social media platforms that we were praying for all who were impacted by the gun violence. With a heart both broken and weary of gun violence and enraged by the reality that we have had on average a mass killing per day in the United States, my prayers continue unabated.
It is important to note however that when we say we are “praying” that our understanding of that commitment, prayer cannot be separated from action. Praying without action is insufficient as our scriptures tell us that “faith without works is dead” and “Be ye doers of the word and not listeners only.” We believe that Sunday worship and daily prayers are not complete without action.

One of the most pastoral things we can do for those who are victims as well as their families is to take action in addition to praying for their consolation, live-long journeys both of grief and of healing.

The terror caused by gun violence has long become too familiar. Arsenals of war oriented weapons in the hands of citizens are unacceptable. We must organize to change policies that make this the new normal.

We will continue to understand prayer as prayer and action and we will organize to change the landscape of gun violence in this nation.

For further reflection on the “both/and” of prayer and action, please read “Don’t Call it Prayer Shaming: Our Moral Failure Exposed