Tag Archives: gun violence

Violence and Incarnation

A sermon preached at the Church of the Incarnation, San Francisco, on December 13, 2015 (Advent 3), by Christopher L. Webber.

Click here for a printable pdf version.

Three years ago tomorrow, December 14, 2012, a psychotic young man walked into an elementary school in Newtown Connecticut and proceeded to shoot down 26 children and their teachers. This weekend is now designated National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend. We have, of course, numerous more recent violent episodes and one in this state, in San Bernadino, just eleven days ago.

Three years ago, of course, I lived in Connecticut, not far from Newtown. Some members of my congregation worked in Newtown and knew people there so there was an immediacy about it greater, probably, than San Bernadino to us here. Just the same, I thought it might be appropriate to SanBedrnadinopreach today what is basically the same sermon I preached three years ago. The circumstances are somewhat different. There were no children killed in San Bernadino. But this is a sermon, not a political statement, and I think the deeper issues of violence and faith remain much the same.

It’s now three years also since I published a book called The Beowulf Trilogy in which Part III is “Yrfa’s Tale.” My first sequel to Beowulf, published six years earlier, followed a warrior’s effort to lead his tribe to a safer place but Part III, “Yrfa’s Tale,” looks at the same events through the eyes of the warrior’s wife, and halfway through she reminisces about their first child and how the baby, not yet two year’s old, died in an epidemic. She says:

“ I almost envied her,
To be at rest, beyond the rub and rush
And weariness of wending in this world,
But I would ask the question none can answer:
Of all the evils in this life of ours,
The constant care and conflict crushing us,
Why has the Heaven Ruler high above
Assigned the little ones to suffer so?”

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Bishop of San Diego responds to San Bernardino shootings


From the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego:

Keep Watch, Dear Lord

As we learn about the violence in San Bernardino, our first response is to go down on our knees and pray for those who have been killed or wounded. We pray for families and communities that are broken and scarred by senseless violence once again.

As disciples of Jesus, we are those who see the image of God in every human being. In the hours and days ahead, we learn more about what is already a profound tragedy. To underscore how close this travesty hits, I have learned from the Rev. Andrew Green that one of his parishioners from St. Paul-in-the-Desert, Palm Springs was present at the facility and is now safe.

There will be time to ponder the deeper implications and our response to this moment, but this night let us pray deeply that God may assuage the sorrows of those most harmed by today’s evil.

I wish you blessings and peace this night.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, 124

Three gunmen have killed 14 people and injured 17 or more at a social services facility in San Bernardino, California.

Source: http://www.episcopalcafe.com/bishop-of-san-diego-responds-to-san-bernardino-shootings/

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Prayers for the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting


Please join us to pray for an end to gun violence in our communities at our monthly Taizé service tonight (7:30 p.m.) at The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation.

Prayers for the victims, families, and the community of the Umpqua Community College shooting and other victims of gun violence. For additional details visit http://www.incarnationsf.org or call 415.564.2324

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