ELCA presiding bishop offers prayers after 3 fatally shot in Kansas

4/14/2014 12:00:00 AM

            CHICAGO (ELCA) -- On behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton offers prayers for survivors and families of the three people who were shot and killed April 13 when a man opened fire outside a Jewish community center and a nearby retirement community in Overland Park, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, Mo.
            "In this week of holy days for Jews and Christians, our prayers surround those who are mourning the tragic loss of life," said Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop.
            "As the Jewish community prepares to commemorate their liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt in the festival of Passover, yesterday's shootings are a disturbing reminder of the depth of hatred and violence that still holds some captive today. Though the shootings have not yet been labeled a hate crime, their impact on the Jewish community is the same," she said.
            "With all those who suffer, we cry out to God for mercy and healing. We pray for the victims and their families, including a not-yet-identified woman shot in the parking lot of Village Shalom, and for a grandfather and his grandson shot at the Jewish Community Center," said Eaton. "We pray also for the alleged shooter and his family."
            "With the people of Overland Park, and for all those who live and work in communities marked by violence throughout this country and world, we grieve," she said. "Linked by our forebears in faith, as Jews and Christians we are bound together in our suffering and also in our God-given calling to bring healing to this broken world. May it be so."
            Eaton's statement is available at http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/A_Word_On%20_The_Overland_Park_KS_Shootings.pdf.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.

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