Bishop David Bard, the new interim bishop for the Minnesota Conference, released the following statement following the rioting that took place at the U.S. Capitol today:
Dear Friends in Christ in the Minnesota Conference of The United Methodist Church,
Like many of you, I have been watching in shock, disbelief, heartbreak, disappointment, and, yes, anger, the scenes coming from our nation’s Capitol. I am setting the anger aside. There is already an ample surplus, and it is not needed now. Never in my most disturbing nightmares would I have imagined an unruly mob breaking into the United States Capitol Building, sending legislators and staff into a protective shelter, and interrupting the work of the Congress—work integral to the peaceful transfer of power, which is an essential dimension of political democracy.
Like many of you, I have thoughts about who bears a measure of responsibility beyond those trespassing, threatening others, or breaking windows. There will be time for analysis and thoughtful debate about this later.
Right now, what is required is calm and a lowering of emotional temperature. What is needed is prayer. Prayer for those in danger. Prayer for those seeking to restore order to our Capitol. And prayer for peace, justice, and kindness. What is required of all of us is a deepening of our commitment to the common good.
I know you join me in prayer. God, grant us grace in our praying and in our work for the common good. On this Day of Epiphany, may we reflect light and love in all we do.
Grace and peace,
David Alan Bard
Interim Bishop, Minnesota Conference
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church