Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey issues statement regarding Baton Rouge shooting

July 17, 2016

My heart is broken yet again! There are simply no words. What does one say when people's lives have been turned upside down? We continue to cry for peace, peace in our city, our country and the world. We need healing. 

As I board my flight leaving Wichita and Jurisdictional Conference, I am following the news from my beloved Baton Rouge. Several police officers dead and some of our churches on lockdown.

The events of our week in Wichita, including the election of three new episcopal leaders, the possible shifting in episcopal areas, budgets, reports, and declaratory decisions seems pretty irrelevant in the eternal scheme of things at this moment. I realize all of those pieces of business are important but friends, our world is in need of so much more! It is in need of healing. 

Istanbul, Nice, Dallas, Minneapolis and our own Baton Rouge, again. There is so much hate in the world. It is numbing physically and spiritually. I find myself at a loss for words yet again. What more can we say? 

We lament and simply pray that God hear the words of our heart. We need to accompany those prayers with acts of compassion, mercy and love. Could this be a defining moment for our city? Can we take our place in history to change our narrative? 

Let us be a people of unity in the midst of our diversity. Let us be a voice for peace, a voice for love, remembering that love casts out all fear. 

And while media reports are filled with stories and visuals that are, quite frankly, disturbing to watch, listen and absorb, we must not allow fear to take grip of our lives. 

We worship a God of promise and hope, not a God of fear and isolation. 

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. 

In Christ,

Cynthia Fierro Harvey
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