Bishops offer prayers following S.C. shootings; local vigils organized

Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of yesterday's shootings in Charleston, S.C., and to their families, the people of Emanuel A.M.E. Church and the wider Charleston community. 

This horrific event comes in the wake of our sorrow over the murder of Jonathan Dos Santos, the teen gunned down just last week in Dorchester.  It underscores yet again the importance of joining our own efforts, such as our diocese's B-PEACE campaign, with the efforts of others to end the epidemic of gun violence in our midst.  The evident ease with which people are able to arm themselves for such violent acts must be addressed.

With God's help, may we, individually and collectively, find the courage to combat this evil, wherever and however we can, so that there may be peace with justice among us, everywhere.

The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan
Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

Local prayer vigils:
• June 18, 7 p.m., Bethel A.M.E. Church (38 Walk Hill Street) in Jamaica Plain

• June 20, 4 p.m., West Medford Baptist Church (59 Boston Avenue) in Medford (organized by Grace Church in Medford and the Mystic Valley NAACP, together with others)

• June 20, 6 p.m., Christ Church (750 Main Street) in Waltham

• June 24, 7 p.m., St. John's Church (297 Lowell Avenue) in Newtonville

Related:  South Carolina bishop calls for prayer, self-examination following shootings