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February 15, 2018

We are deeply grieved by news of yesterday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. We hold to the conviction that all people are children of God and we know that on this day God, too, is grieving. With heavy hearts, we offer prayers to all of those affected and join in the longing for days of peace.

As a new day breaks, we are reminded of Psalm 46:5: “God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.” We long to trust those comforting words, but today what is in the city, the suburbs and the countrysides is more senseless violence and heartache. The world changed forever for the youth of a Parkland, Florida high school and for all their families and friends when a disgruntled, teenage, former student opened fire. We pray God really is in the city and really did help when this morning dawned, but we must be there, too. We offer our prayers for all that are directly affected by Wednesday’s shootings and stand in solidarity with all who recognize that the circumstances that make these shootings all too frequent cannot continue. We will consider at CTS what we can do to have some impact on this death-dealing environment and will look for ways to carry out that impact.

In view of Ash Wednesday, which was yesterday, and the beginning of Lent, we recognize that the Gospel calls us to something more. We confess our complicity in, and strongly call for repentance from, a culture of violence and death that too easily accepts, moves past, and refuses to wrestle with the underlying causes of these senseless tragedies.

Rev. Dr Bill Kincaid
Interim President and Herald B. Monroe Associate Professor of Leadership and Ministry Studies

Dr. Leah Gunning Francis
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, and Associate Professor of Christian Education and Practical Theology