Uvalde School Shooting: Christian Leaders Lament, Urge Prayer and Action

By Josh Shepherd
uvalde
People react outside the Civic Center after a deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

Christian leaders across varying denominations are expressing sorrow and support for victims’ families in the aftermath of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two others. Some prayed for God’s comfort. Some lobbied for change in gun control laws. And some urged communities not to lose hope.

Robert Schnase, Bishop of the United Methodist Church’s Rio Texas and New Mexico Annual Conferences

Our hearts are broken for the people of Uvalde, Texas. We are devastated over the multiple lives lost during the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School. We mourn those who died today and fervently pray for the families of the victims and surround the larger community of Uvalde in prayer. … More details will come forth, and we know more will need to be done, but for now the grief is indescribable and deeply painful. Lord have mercy; hear our prayers.

Al Washington, Pastor, Getty Street Church of Christ, Uvalde, TX

It will be a tough road ahead, but we know that with concerned brothers and sisters in the larger community like yourself, our own working together to reach out to each other, and an unwavering trust in God to lead the way by speaking to us through scripture and prayer, we will be even a stronger community than before. (Source)

Beth Moore, Author and Bible Teacher

Nathan J. Norman, Pastor, The Orchard, Kingsley, MI

Spirit of God, comfort the families in Buffalo, Uvalde, and beyond.
Give them your peace,
not as the world gives it,
not from their current circumstances,
but that can only come from You.
May they feel your loving arms wrapped around them.
May they feel your presence in their
anger, weeping, and bitter sorrow. (Source)

T.D. Jakes, Senior Pastor, The Potter’s House, Dallas, TX

At times like today, when life doesn’t make sense after another senseless school shooting, we turn to God. We pray for those beautiful souls who have been lost, for their grieving families and loved ones, and for all those affected. We pray for peace and we hold them close. (Source)

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Harris Faulkner, Journalist

Lifting up a verse 🙏🏼 for the loved ones grieving in Uvalde, Texas on this first torturous night.  Matthew 19:14: But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Source)

Peter De Jesus, Itinerant Evangelist, Lancaster, TX

J. Heinrich Arnold, Pastor in Woodcrest Rifton, NY

We are all horrified by the terrible carnage and killing of innocent children and dedicated teachers in Uvalde Texas. What is the root of the endless cycle of violence preying on our society? Pray for God’s help to find the power of love to change lives. Jesus has the answer. (Source)

Christina Marie Bennett, Mother and Pro-Life Advocate

19 kids and 2 teachers are dead at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

What will it take to stop this? Is there any way for our politically divided nation to “meet in the middle”? Can the people tired of “prayers and thoughts” acknowledge that perhaps there is a evil even laws can’t restrain? Can the people who believe “no gun law could have stopped this” consider that mortality can be regulated through legislation?

Can the people accusing pro-lifers of not caring about dead school children understand that we are just as sickened and horrified as everyone else? Can pro-lifers understand why pro-choice people don’t believe we care when we vote for politicians who reject what they see as “common sense gun control”?

Do we empathize with those terrified to bring a child into a world like this? … I am humbly listening and learning. We need each other to end this violence. Our children are dying because we live in a nation obsessed with violence. We must find a way to preserve life. (Source)

Erik Vance, Pastor and Educator, Ft. Worth, TX

No one should ever have to worry about if their child is safe at school or not. Lord please protect us and cover our families. Please watch over the kids. In Jesus name.

Meet us at Southside City Church tonight at 6:30 pm we will be praying for victims & families of the kids who lost their lives. (Source)

Michael McBride, Lead Pastor, The Way Christian Center in West Berkeley, CA

My heart is broken over the 14 children and teacher slain by this gunman in Uvalde. @LiveFreeUS extends our compassion and prayers to their families. God help us…help ourselves and end this carnage. (Source)

Dan & Michelle, On-Air Hosts, Air 1 Radio

I read today about giving people the grace they need to grieve how they need to grieve. And I think that’s important to share. I know I needed to hear that. And maybe you do too. Some people will be very loud, some people will be ugly, other will be quiet or more reserved. Let’s give people the room they need and grace to grieve in their own way. We have no words for this senseless act of evil, but continue to pray God’s peace that surpasses all understanding over the families impacted, the community of Uvalde and our country. We cling to the hope and love of Jesus this morning. (Source)

Omar Gonzalez, Youth Pastor, Santa Ana, CA

Mary Millben, Singer and Recording Artist

Emotional watching the coverage right now on the Texas shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde County. I think about my nieces and nephews. My sister and brother as parents. A nightmare. Praying. Please all put politics aside right now. Families are forever changed today. (Source)

Anthony Medina, Itinerant Minister, HopeFires International, Dallas, TX

My heart and prayers go out to those affected by the senseless act in Uvalde today…

Youth/young adult pastors and leaders, there is a generation that is begging to be seen, heard and found. They are hurting, they are broken and they feel like they have no hope. All of those make for a dangerous cocktail and lead to senseless violence against themselves or others…

May the Lord burden us leaders to real repentance, deep prayer and groanings for a generation that, frankly, we are letting down. (Source)

J.D. Flynn, Journalist and Editor of Pillar Catholic

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

There have been too many school shootings, too much killing of the innocent. Our Catholic faith calls us to pray for those who have died and to bind the wounds of others, and we join our prayers along with the community in Uvalde and Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller. As we do so, each of us also needs to search our souls for ways that we can do more to understand this epidemic of evil and violence and implore our elected officials to help us take action.

Sister Helen Prejean

As a nun, I’m expected to offer thoughts and prayers, and indeed I do. But that’s not enough. We must rise up and take action together to stop this violence. This can’t keep happening.

Bishop David Reed, Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

Ignore the cynics, and pray with all your heart. Let your cries reach to the heavens. Let your anger and despair be your prayer. And listen to God answering in return. Look for God’s tears revealed and listen for his perfect and righteous anger. Give yourself over to opportunities to join in the Spirit’s work of binding up and healing. Love with all you’ve got, and never, ever surrender to the darkness.

Matt Smethurst, Lead Pastor, River City Baptist Church, Richmond, VA

Darrell Harrison, Dean of Social Media, Grace To You Ministries

I can’t begin to contemplate the unimaginable grief those families must be feeling right now. To send your children off to school and not have them come home. I pray that the God of all comfort will comfort them today and in the years to come (Psalm 34:18; 2 Cor. 1:3-4). #Uvalde (Source)

Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas

Weep with those who weep. The deadly shooting in Uvalde puts us on our knees. May the God of all comfort be near to the broken-hearted.

Religion News Service contributed to this report.

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