A Word of Sympathy and Prayer, following the Manchester Attack

Leadership of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ issued the following statement following the attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on Monday evening:

With deep sadness and dismay, we offer our prayers of sympathy and healing for the victims and families of the suicide attack in Manchester, England, Monday night. We wish to convey our solidarity with and support for the people of England, including members and leadership of our partner church, the United Reformed Church in the UK.

Every human life is sacred; we are all children of God. What is especially abhorrent about this attack is that it targeted young people, simply hoping to enjoy a pop concert, relishing life and seeking to share in a setting of enjoyment and music.

We condemn this act of violence, like others we have witnessed on the European continent over the past several months and years. The attack was claimed by the so-called Islamic State, a claim that has not been verified. Even so, we join with many, including Muslims and prominent Islamic leaders and organizations, in the sense of horror that religion and faith, once again, have been asserted as motivations for such an atrocious act.

We bear witness to the more abundantly found, but less frequently reported, acts of goodness, kindness, and peace that people of faith, including Muslims and Christians, express, most often instinctively, drawing on their faiths and the principles ascribed to them. Such expressions of goodness are often automatic, but never without conviction. It is those examples which take place every day that we must look to as genuine reference points of faith.

We join in prayer, with the moderator of the North Western Synod of the United Reformed Church, the Rev. Andrew Mills, who offers this intercession:

Gracious God, Hear the cries of all people in the brokenness of a new day, where music is silenced in grief or the loss of loved ones.

Jesus, suffering Lord, hold in your loving arms those caught in the distress of this tragedy and sustain all who are working to aid those affected.

Spirit of life, when words fail us speak through us your word of Peace into broken lives. Amen.

And we offer our supplications to God for victims of violence everywhere in the world, knowing that tragedy befalls children and youth every day in the form of poverty, famine, disease, trafficking, war, forced displacement, and other oppressive conditions, leading to despair. We pray that we, with our sisters and brothers, will seek only to protect and provide for your children everywhere, so that all may have the fullness of life in its richness and abundance. Amen.

Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Dr. James Moos
Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries
United Church of Christ

Rev. Julia Brown Karimu
President, Division of Overseas Ministries
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon
Acting Executive Minister
Justice and Witness Ministries
United Church of Christ

Rev. Dr. Ron Degges
President, Disciples Home Missions
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

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  • David Sigei
    commented 2017-05-25 00:42:59 -0400
    Terrorists’ attacks in the world in the name God is crime and violence against humanity, this phenomenon should be contempt by all peace lovers in our planet!