Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
We are aware of the sad news that last night gang-related violence occurred on our property at the former Sepulveda United Methodist Church. The violence left a 24 year-old young man dead on the church parking lot. We are also told that in relationship to this unfortunate death, a 16 year-old was severely beaten though we do not know where this latter incident happened.
Most importantly for us as the church of Christ Jesus, we know that Rev. Fred Morris, whom I appointed to serve as the founding pastor of the new ministry at this location, North Hills Hispanic Mission, has reached out to the family of the man who was killed and is providing them pastoral care including helping them to have a prayer vigil on the site where the 24 year-old died. The site of this young man’s death has been cordoned off in respect for his life and to give witness to the value of life itself. Rev. Morris, with my full support and that of his district superintendent, will continue to seek every good way to lead us in our pastoral response in this difficult and sad situation.
Let us pray for all the victims in this most recent expression of senseless violence, and for Rev. Fred Morris and all who accompany him in responding with the love and peace of Christ. May we pray and work without ceasing for God’s peace in the world.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church