On July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado in the United States, a senseless tragedy occurred as families, friends, neighbors and strangers gathered in a place that we all consider safe – a movie theater. The violence and horror that took place last Thursday night has left lives shattered, bodies broken and souls forever shaken. It has also re-ignited a debate about the place of weapons in our society as well as the relative ease of access to them. The debate over these issues will only intensify in the coming weeks as opportunistic members of the media attempt to use the events as their own selfish causes.
The World Methodist Council asks that we pray for wisdom from our leaders, solace to the families and friends of those affected by the tragedy and for peace and healing to the victims. We also pray that violence such as this – whether it is the sort of mass killings that capture the attention of the news media or the killings that are barely mentioned on the news – can come to an end. The World Council of Churches, which the World Methodist Council is proud to partner with, has proposed an Arms Trade Treaty to limit the trade of small arms. We urge that our fellow Christians take a look at this proposal and advocate its passing
In these days when the violence feels more random and more severe every time that it erupts into the world and the coverage becomes more sensationalistic, we ask that the members of the Wesleyan/Methodist family remember that one of our guiding principles is social justice. As stewards of God’s creation and members of the same flock our mission is to educate and illuminate the world about a better way.