Thank you for taking the time to read this note. I suspect the attacks in Paris reminded you of the uncertain world in which we live. I share those sentiments. Shortly after the attacks our Presiding Bishop produced a video, which I shared, calling us to pray for the victims, families and people affected by this horrible tragedy. I appreciate Bishop Curry’s pastoral leadership. Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe issued a statement Saturday thanking us for our prayers and support. I urge you to continue to pray for everyone affected by the events in Paris and wider issues.
Several days have passed since the attacks and I would be remiss if I didn’t identify a growing concern — namely, a rising tide of “anti Muslim” sentiment. We are called as people of faith, in our baptismal covenant, to “respect the dignity of every human being.” Muslims throughout the world are speaking up on social media and denouncing the perpetrators of these attacks with the hashtag #NotInMyName. Many Muslims, in France and elsewhere, are continuing to raise their voices in prayer for the victims of this horrendous crime and for their families and loved ones. On Sunday following the attacks, Imams in Paris gathered at the Bataclan concert hall (site of the worst attack) to sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, in solidarity with the city and the nation.
My dear friends, I beg of you to love, hold dear, and pray for the beautiful people who have been harmed by these terrorist acts an those who represent the Islamic faith in its true nature and form. We are all part of the human family. Terrorists do not define the Muslim men and women who have been part of our country and world since the earliest of days. As you pray personally or corporately, I invite you to offer the following prayer from our Book of Common Prayer (pg. 840 #7).
For the Diversity of Races and Cultures
O God, who created all peoples in your image, we thank you for the wonderful diversity of races and cultures in this world. Enrich our lives by everwidening circles of fellowship, and show us your presence in those who differ most from us, until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
May the Peace of the Lord be Always with You,