The Episcopal Church in Connecticut
St. John’s is part of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT), which comprises about 60,000 people in 168 parishes. Together, we are a community devoted to participating in and understanding our roles in God’s mission. The Right Reverend Ian T. Douglas (Bishop Diocesan) and the Right Reverend Laura J. Ahrens (Bishop Suffragan) work in partnership with ECCT parishes as we seek to nurture our spiritual lives and share the good news of the Gospel in our communities. The bishops also periodically send letters in response to local, national and world events. Below are excerpts from recent letters, and a link to the full texts.
Bishops’ Letter Concerning Parkland Florida School Shooting (2/16/2018)
The phrase “thoughts and prayers” has been devalued by politicians whose prayers seem never to move them to act against their self-interests or the interests of the National Rifle Association. Yet, as Christians, we believe deeply in the power of prayer to console, to sustain and to heal, but also to make evident the work that God is calling us to do. We pray that all who have been touched by this violent act receive God’s healing and solace. Read the entire letter here.
Bishops’ Statement on Sandy Hook: Five Years Later (12/11/2017)
Five years ago this Thursday, December 14th, 2012, your bishops were called to a pastoral ministry none of us could have ever imagined. When we learned of the horror that was unfolding at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, we, along with then-Bishop Suffragan Jim Curry, immediately rushed to Trinity Church in Newtown to be with those who were scared, confused, grief-stricken, and bewildered. All we could offer in the hours, days, weeks, and months that followed the tragedy were our prayers and our presence. In the face of such death and destruction, we did our best to witness to the truth and power of the Resurrection of Jesus – God incarnate who joins us in our suffering and loss and who has triumphed over death. This Thursday, December 14, 2017, we pause to remember and recall. Read the entire letter here.
Bishops’ Statement on the Texas Church Shooting (11/6/2017)
In prayer, Christians commend the souls of the faithful departed to the mercy and love of God. We beseech our Creator to comfort the grieving and shield the vulnerable. Prayer is not an offering of vague good wishes. It is not a spiritual exercise that successfully completed exempts one from focusing on urgent issues of common concern. Prayer is not a dodge. In prayer we examine our own hearts and our own deeds to determine whether we are complicit in the evils we deplore. And if we are, we resolve to take action; we resolve to amend our lives. Read the entire letter here.
Bishops’ Statement on the Las Vegas Shooting (10/2/2017)
It has become clichéd at moments such as these to offer thoughts and prayers. But as Christians, we must reflect upon the mass killings that unfold with such regularity in our country. And we must pray: for the victims, for their loved ones, for all who attended to the victims in the immediacy of the shooting, for the first responders who do so much to mitigate the awful effects of these shootings, and for the medical personnel who will labor for many days to save the wounded. We must also enter into the sorrow of those who are most deeply affected by our country’s cripplingly frequent outbursts of lethal gun violence. We must look into our own hearts and examine the ways in which we are culpable or complicit in the gun violence that surrounds us every day. And then, having looked, we must act. Read the entire letter here.
Bishops’ Letter on DACA (9/7/2017)
As Christians, Holy Scripture and Jesus call us to welcome the stranger, opening our hearts in love. Our Episcopal Church leaders, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings, have written in their September 5 statement: “we call on our nation to live up to its highest ideals and most deeply held values, and we call on Congress to take action to protect these young people and to formulate a comprehensive immigration policy that is moral and consistent and that allows immigrants who want to contribute to this country the chance to do so while keeping our borders secure from those whose business is in drugs, human trafficking or terror.” Read the entire letter here.