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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    From the Desk of Bishop Webb: Response to mass shooting in Las Vegas

    October 3, 2017 / By Bishop Mark J. Webb

    Editor’s note: On Oct. 3 Bishop Mark J. Webb sent the following letter about the tragic violence that took place in Las Vegas.

    Sisters and brothers in Christ,

    We have watched in horror as once again a mass shooting, the most deadly in American history has claimed the lives of at least 59 innocent people and injured hundreds more. Pray for the victims, family members, first responders, and others in Las Vegas, whose lives have been forever changed.

    Over the next days and weeks, investigators will attempt to understand what and why. Politicians will engage again in conversations regarding the best way forward in relation to gun control. What about the Church?

    Yes, we need to be engaged in the political and sociological conversations. Yes, we need to be engaged in the debate and the actions necessary to end gun violence and all acts of hate in our culture. But there is a reality we must be willing to address. In a world that too often chooses evil over good, darkness over light, selfish ways, rather than God's way, we must find new and bold ways to show and proclaim that Jesus Christ is our only hope and the hope of the world.

    We must find ways to acknowledge in a courageous and fresh way that violence, darkness, evil, and terror will only be defeated by the life-changing, heart-transforming love of God through Jesus Christ. So, be engaged in the conversation; take steps to bring change; but most of all - offer someone the truth of Jesus - show someone the truth of Jesus - the truth of love, joy, peace, significance, hope, and life! Jesus has promised to transform lives; let's be bold partners in offering to a hurting, confused, and desperate world the Good News of Jesus Christ!

    For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. 1 John 5:4

    You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before all is such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your God who is in heaven. Matthew 5.14-16

    Grace and peace,

    Bishop Mark J. Webb

    TAGGED / Episcopal Office

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."