St. Louis School Shooting Response
On Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, a gunman opened fire inside Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis. Three people died, including the gunman. Others were injured and taken to the hospital. Prayer services are being planned -- see information about those services below the Bishop's response to this local tragedy.
Dear Siblings in Christ,
Our hearts are heavy. Tears, prayers, and heartbreak following gun violence have sadly become all too familiar companions. Today, October 24, 2022, we grieve with the members of the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, pray for and with that community as the sacred rhythm of teaching and learning has been shattered by the noise of gunfire and the loss of life.
It is unfair. Unfair for our young people seeking wisdom and knowledge to have to endure the loss of a sense of security and comfort at school. Unfair to our teachers and staff who seek only to inspire the next generation to a greater hope. Unfair to a community shattered by the senselessness of the evils of gun violence.
Today, the blood of those who lost their lives at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and other victims of gun violence cry out from the ground. In the words of the psalmist, their blood cries out, “How long?” How long will the scourge of gun violence mar our communities and neighborhoods? How long will our elected leaders stand on the sidelines? How long will we as a nation continue to tolerate and make peace with violence as simply, “just how things are?”
Like you, I long for the day when we will beat our swords in the plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. I long for the day when we will neither hurt nor destroy, and study war no more. I long for the day when innocent blood is no longer spilled. Until that day, I invite you to pray. Pray for the families of those lost. Pray for our first responders and law enforcement. Pray for those struggling with mental health and those who offer care and counseling. Pray that we as a nation will have the courage to enact laws and policies that eliminate gun violence from our society.
May God give those who have died, rest; to those who grieve, comfort; to those in pain and suffering, wholeness; to those in despair, hope. God grant us the ears to hear and hands and hearts to act.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson,
Eleventh Bishop of Missouri
Join us in prayer:
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Monday, Oct. 24 @ 7:30 p.m.
In person: 9 South Bompart, Webster Groves
Diocesan Prayer Service with Bishop Deon
St. John's Episcopal Church
Tuesday, Oct. 25 @ 5 p.m.
In person: 3664 Arsenal Street, St. Louis