I am in prayer for the people of Emanuel AME Church, the people of Charleston, and for us all. It is sickening to know the terrible crimes against people seeking peace in a church. I am deeply mournful and angry that we have yet another incident of innocent people murdered. We know that the horrific crime of racism is also paramount in this case. The scourge of racism has been compounded by an epidemic of gun violence. More than ever, we need to witness and be heard as the people’s voice to finally have a serious conversation about gun violence. Let us pray that we have the strength, courage, and wisdom to come together as one. And today, Let us pray for the victims in South Carolina. Let us pray for God’s peace.  In solidarity with with Episcopal Churches in other dioceses, I have asked our clergy to please ring their church bell at noon on June 19th in memory of the nine victims at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina and in memory of all victims of gun violence. Please pray for all who have been impacted by gun violence.

The Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi

Diocese of Utah