A Word from Bishop Graves: Church Shooting

November 06, 2017

This morning my heart is heavy as we read once again of another act of violence in a church where 26 people were killed and 10 injured. It leaves us with questions of, "Why? When will this stop? When will we lay down our prejudices and come together to change the direction of our country and our world?"

I find comfort in these words from Isaiah 40:26-31.

“The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. God never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of God’s understanding. God gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young people will fall into exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

In the midst of questions and a heavy heart, we as Jesus followers begin a new week to help all of those around us get to a better place. For if we can get to a better place today, there is great hope for tomorrow.

Today, the Council of Bishops will begin our work together at Lake Junaluska around the Way Forward, seeking to give leadership to the United Methodist Church for a better place around our struggle with human sexuality. We appreciate your prayers for us, the families of the church shooting, for all of those who need strength and for those who have become tired and exhausted with life. The Holy Spirit wants to come and fill the weak and weary. They will keep walking, realizing the best is yet to come!

Giving thanks for the people of the Alabama-West Florida Conference!

In Christ,
Bishop David W. Graves