Episcopal News Service reports that the Rt. Rev. Peter Eaton, Bishop of Southeast Florida, presented a letter to the House of Bishops by Philip and April Schentrup, the parents of Carmen Schentrup, who died in the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
They wrote, in part:
Our hearts are saddened for the loss of our beautiful little girl and the absence of her amazing presence, but we cannot be sad for Carmen. We believe that Carmen’s murder was not part of God’s plan and that God is saddened by the violence in this world more than we can know. We know that God’s promise is for us to be with him in heaven, and in faith, we believe that Carmen is in heaven, in the loving embrace of God. She awaits us, loved and cared for.
As our family struggles to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives, we ask the Good Lord daily for the strength to fight the good fight, to finish the race. In our attempt to heal from despair and grief, we are compelled to try and make the world a better place for our two remaining children and for all children. To that end, we implore you, as leaders of Christ’s church, to address the issue of gun violence head-on. We ask that you make this a priority for the Church and to leave little ambiguity as to “what would Jesus do.” The scourge of gun violence on this nation, especially with military assault rifles, is a problem of our own creation and counter to God’s desire for peace and love. As a nation we can solve this problem, and as leaders of the Church in our country, we ask that you help lead the way. In Christ’s name, we beg you to take action.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins, Bishop of Springfield, presents his reflections on the first day’s discussions:
The most spirited discussion was around a proposed Mind of the House resolution that addresses the National Rifle Association, sharply criticizing its rhetoric. It first appeared destined for quick approval, but bishops cannot resist the impulse to wordsmith most anything in plenary session, so, to my surprise, it ended up getting table to an extension of our business session tomorrow that had been going to devoted to only one issue (a statement on sexual harassment). Some interested parties met this evening and, I am told, drastically reworked it to minimize potential offense toward Episcopalian NRA members. (For the record, I spoke against the resolution, not because I am chummy with the NRA, or because I like guns, but because the positions of the NRA can plausibly be held by a Christian of goodwill and an informed conscience.) We’ll see what happens tomorrow.