Bishop Zellmer issues pastoral message on the New Zealand mosque shootings
“The community of disciples does not shake off suffering, as if they had nothing to do with it. Instead they bear it. In doing so, they give witness to their connection with the people around them.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
This morning we woke up to the news of more Mosque shootings in the world. More lives lost. More hatred spread. More grief. More suffering. As followers of Jesus, we join in the suffering of others.
In 2018, leaders of multiple faith communities stood together for the first time in our State Capitol shoulder to shoulder to denounce hatred, bigotry, and violence. In our joint statement that day in the Capitol, we invited all people of conscience to join us in the actions below. I ask today that you continue to do so:
- REFLECT on what will heal divisions in our communities;
- PARTNER across faith lines to know one another better and address issues of common concern, such as affirming and promoting religious freedom;
- TELL the positive stories of these multi-faith partnerships publicly in order to report this reality to the media and shape public dialogue; and,
- DENOUNCE hatred, bigotry, violence and the use of misinformation against all people wherever we see it in word or in action.
Please join me in prayer:
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may move every human heart; that the barriers dividing us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; and that, with our divisions healed, we might live in justice and peace; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Evangelical Lutheran Worship p. 79)
The Rev. David B. Zellmer
Bishop, South Dakota Synod ELCA