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Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, released this statement regarding the November 10, 2023, pastoral letter from the UMC Council of Bishops:

My friends, the war in Israel and Gaza over the past month has broken our hearts, as from afar we have witnessed the resurgence of violence in a centuries-old conflict.

On Friday, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church released a statement decrying both the October 7 attack by Hamas and the continuing loss of both Palestinian and Israeli lives. As episcopal leaders, we are calling for an immediate resolution of the growing humanitarian crisis among the civilian population and a peaceful solution to the violence.

I ask all South Carolina United Methodists to take a moment to read this statement and to join me in this Prayer for Peace* or one of your own:

Remember, Prince of Peace, the peoples of the world divided into many nations and tongues. Deliver us from every evil that obstructs your saving purpose, and fulfill your promises of old to establish your kingdom of peace.

From the curse of war and all that creates it, O Lord, deliver us.

From believing and speaking lies against other nations, O Lord, deliver us.

From narrow loyalties and selfish isolation, O Lord, deliver us.

From fear and distrust of other nations, from all false pride, vainglory,
and self-conceit, O Lord, deliver us.

From the lust of the mighty for riches, that drives peaceful people
to slaughter, O Lord, deliver us.

From putting our trust in weapons of war, and from want of faith
in the power and justice and good will, O Lord, deliver us.

From every thought, word, and seed that divides the human family and separates
us from the perfect realization of your love, O Lord, deliver us. Amen.

Grace and peace,

L. Jonathan Holston
Resident Bishop
South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church

* “A Prayer for Peace,” The United Methodist Book of Worship #520

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