Our hearts go out to the victims of last night’s shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. Early reports indicate that at least 50 people have died and hundreds more are injured. The police are at work to learn all they can about the shooter and his background. Right now there is so much we want to know, yet we want real information and not misinformation. What we do know for certain is that we must pray:
for the hundreds of wounded victims, that their injuries would heal and that they will be surrounded with support and love;
for the medical workers who have been at it all night caring for the victims of this tragedy;
for the law enforcement officers who are working tirelessly to collect evidence, conduct interviews, and develop an accurate picture;
and for the families who are grieving the death or injury of their loved ones.
And we know one thing more: that there are United Methodist Churches in Las Vegas who, along with all the other churches in that community, will be present in the hospitals and in the community so that the victims know they are not alone. Some of us know firsthand how important the presence of another human being can be at a time when we are overwhelmed by tragedy. It’s not what you say; it’s being there - the ministry of presence. We have United Methodist churches all over Las Vegas, and they will mean so much to that community in such a time as this.
We mourn the tragedy in Las Vegas. As United Methodists, our commitment to the sanctity of life leads us to stand up and speak out against such violence. In the days ahead, as we learn more specifics, let us continue our commitment to work with lawmakers and our fellow citizens to find ways to protect our communities from violence such as this.