To: People of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan

Monday, June 13, 2016

Psalm 13,  Usquequo, Domine?
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
   How long will you hide your face from me? 
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
   and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
   Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, 
and my enemy will say, 'I have prevailed';
   my foes will rejoice because I am shaken. 

But I trusted in your steadfast love;
   my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 
I will sing to the Lord,
   because he has dealt bountifully with me.

How long, O Lord will such senseless violence continue?
How long, O Lord must we wait for the courage to enact common sense gun laws?
How long, O Lord before love overcomes hate, before grace overcomes malice?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!

What to do we say, this time, to our children, O Lord?
What do we say, this time, to the families of the deceased, O Lord?
What do we say, this time, to ourselves to help us sleep tonight, O Lord?
Give light to my eyes, O Lord my God!

Fifty people are dead and 53 were hospitalized in Orlando yesterday in the single worst mass shooting in United States history. I am numb, angry and so very sad. I do not know how to make sense of this. I do not understand such anger, such hatred. Pray for the victims and their families and for the perpetrator yes, I will pray. But, if I'm honest, I must acknowledge my prayer alone is not enough. I must act. I must love the unlovable, reach out to the outcast, embrace the lonely, be reconciled with my enemies and do all this humbly acknowledging that I do so as much for me as for them. We need each other, whether we like each other or not, whether we agree with each other or not, we need each other. And, especially now as we try to come to grips with the very reality of evil in our midst, we need to trust in the steadfast love of our God for we cannot make it on our own.

May the peace of God which passes all understanding be with us,

+Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.
IX Western Michigan

Stay Connected!
Connect with us onFacebook and the Bishop on Twitter. Click icons at left or search: "Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan."