Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Bishop Stephen Lane on the mass murder in Buffalo

Gun violence is a pervasive reality across the United States. The recent mass murder in Buffalo brings that close to home, along with the knowledge that the murderer also considered Rochester as a target. The motivation, in this case, was hatred for people of color, America’s long history of racism being passed to a new generation. But truth be told, there are mass shootings nearly every day. This past weekend according to news reports, 21 people were killed in mass shootings across the country.

The Presiding Bishop, who hails from Buffalo, has offered a pastoral statement. https://www.episcopalchurch.org/publicaffairs/pastoral-statement-on-mass-shooting-in-buffalo-from-episcopal-church-presiding-bishop-michael-curry/?mc_cid=73cdc68540&mc_eid=UNIQID

The Bishop of Western New York has called us to prayer in response to the Buffalo murders; prayer not as a substitute for action, but as preparation for action. I too invite your prayerful response to this epidemic of violence. We are called to love one another across our differences and to see in one another the image of God. In every community there is too much violence, whether in our streets or in our homes. The City of Rochester is enduring a daily barrage of such violence.

Bishops United Against Gun Violence, an association of Episcopal bishops to which I have belonged for many years, has numerous resources which are available to assist in your prayers. You can find those resources here: https://bishopsagainstgunviolence.org/resources/liturgical-resources/

In these times of pandemic and division, our baseline anxiety is high. We find ourselves losing our tempers more easily or driving too aggressively or making enemies out of people who annoy us. Let’s breathe deeply and consider again our call to love. As the PB puts it, “Let us hold fast to the good. It is the only way that leads to life.”