Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings called for a moment of silence to be observed in Dallas at noon Friday, July 8 in response to Thursday night’s deadly shootings in Dallas
. He also invited any and all to pray for the victims of and their families. Bishop Lowry
echoed this invitation and has called on all members of the Central Texas Conference to join in a time of prayer for the victims and their families.
According to reports
|DART Officer Brent Thompson
, one of the five slain police offiers was a member of the Central Texas Conference. Officer Brent Thompson, 43 of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit agency (DART) had been a long-time active member of Pleasant Grove UMC in Corsicana and also had strong ties to First UMC Corsicana. Officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith and Patrick Zamarripa, all of the Dallas Police Department were also killed by the sniper fire that ripped through downtown Dallas. Seven other officers and two civillians were also wounded in the shooting. Please watch ctcumc.org for more information, including any memorials or services as they become available.
“I would like every Methodist in the Central Texas Conference stop and pray for Officer Thompson and his family as well as all the victims of last night’s horrific acts of violence in Dallas,” Bishop Lowry said. “I want us to pray for the police, their families, the people of Dallas. I want us to pray for everyone.”
As information from the shootings continues to unfold, and people looked to express their shock and grief in response to the shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge and St. Paul, Bishop Lowry reminded that the best response is prayer. He said that while prayer is not the end of our response, it is an essential beginning as the grace-filled followers of Jesus Christ.
“We must continue to reject the forces of hatred, racism, fear, violence and anger in favor of the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, patience, kindness and peace as described by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians [Galatians 5:22-23],” Bishop Lowry stated. “I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for us to remember that we are followers of the Prince of Peace. Anger and violence must be laid aside.”
While debates continue as to the meaning and circumstances of the violent acts of the last few days, Bishop Lowry pointed out that our first response as Christians is to recognize the very real pain of human loss. He also called for the CTC to pray for the Black Lives Matter Movement who had helped organize the peaceful protest in Dallas Thursday night. He reminded that the Gospel calls us to give special attention to anyone who is especially burdened, oppressed or made to feel as though their life matters less and that we can simultaneously ask questions about police conduct while showing grace, compassion and respect for those who work to keep us safe.
“Black lives matter to God. Police lives matter to God. All lives matter to the God who gave us his only Son so that we might all have everlasting life,” continued Bishop Lowry. “Let us all, everyone, live by the Spirit and follow the Spirit [Gal 5:25] and keep firm in our hearts and minds the commandment of Jesus given to us in John 15, “…love each other as I have loved you.’”
Be sure to visit Bishop Lowry's blog, bishopmikelowry.com
, to read more on how we, as Christians who serve the Prince of Peace, should respond to the violence in this broken world. To read the official statement from the United Methodist Council of Bishops, please click here