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Bishop Hagiya’s Pastoral Letter on Thousand Oaks Shooting

[POSTPONED] Joint Prayer Vigil

Due to the fire and evacuation now underway in the community, tonight’s vigil has been postponed.

North District Superintendent Rev. Jim Powell has requested supporters to hold a vigil wherever they are at 7:00PM tonight.  A resource on holding this vigil is forthcoming.

To the people of the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church:

My heart grieves over the loss of 13 children of God at the Borderline Bar and Grill.

This senseless violence has no theological answer and we are left once again with the numbness and suffering that has happened recently in Pittsburgh and Florida. I cry out to God, “when will it end?” I then realize that God cannot stop this violence we are inflicting upon ourselves on a regular basis. I am sure that God grieves even more than we do because it is God’s own creation that is lost and taken by those who have turned their back on the goodness of God’s longing for our world.

Today, we must pray for the victims, their families and loved ones, and for the perpetrator who could not be in his right mind over such senseless violence.  In prayer, I believe that God will show us our next steps to take on violence such as this.

Let us keep in our prayers Noel Sparks, a member of our Westlake Village UMC, who was tragically killed in this mass shooting, her family, loved ones and friends. Let us continue to pray for those who were wounded, those fighting for their lives, their families, the first responders and the communities from which they came.

It is a time now for us to turn to God and God alone. We cannot save ourselves, so we turn our hearts and minds to the One who can.

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop