The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, Bishop of Maryland, writes in a statement on violence against police officers:
The targeting of police and first responders is not only deplorable, but an attack on the very fabric of the communities most in need of their help. We have many faithful Episcopalians in this diocese who serve as first responders: uniformed and active officers of the law; firefighters, both paid and volunteer; and members of local rescue squads, paid and volunteer. Others have retired from active service or have children and spouses serving in these helping professions. These folks willingly put themselves on the line to respond at all hours, and in all conditions. They are immensely dedicated to their work, and we applaud their courage and service.
We know, of course, that no profession is exempt from having to deal with the few of its members who fail to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. That is why I believe it’s so important to express our gratitude and support for the many men and women who have chosen to place themselves on the front lines in our towns, cities and communities, and who serve with distinction, honor and sacrifice.
In the coming weeks, and perhaps especially on or near September 11, please remember these public servants in your congregational Prayers of the People. Some churches are choosing to distribute small blue ribbons, or are hosting special services around the time of the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (September 29) to which they invite local first responders and honor them with public recognition or small gifts.
On a related note, Bishop Sutton will join the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut, “A Christian Response to Gun Violence,” a free web-based class, Sept. 14-28.
The class is a production of ChurchNext, with financial support from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, Bishops United Against Gun Violence, and other sponsors.
The four video presentations are:
- The Unholy Trinity with Eugene Sutton
- Violence and the Bible with Eugene Sutton
- A Theology for Challenging Gun Violence with Ian Douglas
- Christian Responsibility with Ian Douglas
“This course is not about repealing the Second Amendment,” Bishop Sutton said. “It’s about examining the roots, causes, reality, and our response to our increasingly violent and tragic age, and offering ways for Christians to take action.”