Beloved in the Lord,

“Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men . . .”
Psalm 140:1

The headline was all too familiar – another shooting that has claimed innocent lives and shaken a small town to its core. This is not something we should ever become accustomed to or indifferent with our emotions. The lives of four people were tragically taken by a gunman who was later killed during this most recent attack which happened on Tuesday, November 14 in the small town of Rancho Tehama, California, located approximately 120 miles north of Sacramento.

There were seven locations where the gunman launched rapid fire, and there are still at least ten people wounded, some critically, from his rage of violence. One of the locations was a local elementary school where parents were just dropping off their children to attend classes.

We must continue to pray for all those who lost their lives in this tragedy as well as pray for the recovery of those still bearing physical and emotional wounds. Through God’s greatness, mercy and love, He will provide healing and comfort and “will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)  We also give thanks to the first responders, the police and fire departments and medical teams, for their diligent efforts and ask that God give them strength in their most important work.

Sadly, these incidents are becoming more and more prevalent. Let us all be vigilant during these times, keeping aware of our surroundings, reporting any suspicious activity to the authorities, and always wearing the Cross of Christ to protect us.

With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco