Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, issued this statement in response to the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 27, 2018:
We are horrified anew by the shooting deaths Saturday of 11 people gathered peacefully in a house of worship, as well as the wounding of at least six others – including four police officers.
We pray for the wounded, for the families of those lost, for the survivors who witnessed such carnage. We mourn the senseless loss of life.
In the heartfelt words of Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, resident bishop of the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, “We groan because we do not have words to adequately express our grief, anger and anguish.”
As Christians and United Methodists, we abhor hate, bigotry, prejudice and violence in any form, and we must commit to doing the arduous work of making peace in our communities and around the world.
As we face the reality of yet another act of gun violence, we must remain resolute in our witness to the world, in our advocacy for peace and justice, in our prayer for healing, for compassion, for understanding.
Please join with me in prayerful support for Bishop Moore-Koikoi as she leads the people of the Western Pennsylvania Conference at this sorrowful time.
Grace and peace,
L. Jonathan Holston