Once again, the Minneapolis-St. Paul community and our nation are deeply wounded. The Wednesday evening officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile has overwhelmed us with anger, grief, frustration, and despair. It has left our hearts and voices crying for justice. The preliminary evidence and the shocking video images are a convincing reminder that we have work to do.
We pray for the family and friends of Philando as they grieve his loss. We pray for a community that’s hurt and polarized. We pray for the officers involved in the shooting. We pray for an end to violence and racial disparities in our entire criminal justice system. And we pray for a day when every person will be treated with dignity and respect. The death of any one of God’s children is the responsibility of all of God’s children.
I invite all persons and communities of faith to use this tragedy as an opportunity to redouble our efforts to work for justice, stamp out institutional racism, and affirm the value of all human life. Let us together pray that God will work through us to bear witness to Christ’s call to reconciliation and justice, and to bring healing to a fractured community and a broken world. As we pray for peace, let it begin with us.
Bruce R. Ough is the resident bishop of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church