The simple truth of the Gospel

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

Logo for the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

He shall judge between the nations and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)


My siblings in Christ,

Over the last three days I gathered with the clergy of our diocese for prayer, conversation and fellowship. We were blessed to have Shane Claiborne as our guest speaker. During his talks Shane challenged us, made us laugh, and brought us to tears with stories of his ministry. One theme ran through it all, namely that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is incompatible with the culture of gun violence that plagues our world and runs rampant in our culture. This is not a matter of politics, it is the simple truth of the Gospel. 

Today, we suffered an undeniable reminder of the truth of his words when a mass shooting injured three people in West Philadelphia. What makes this violence even more appalling is that took place while over 1,000 of our Muslim siblings were celebrating Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. What was intended to be a time of community celebration became the latest chapter in this seemingly endless story of horror. And, just minutes ago a nine-year old was shot in North Philadelphia on her way to get food.

This must end. Each lost life is a grievous wound upon all people. As Christians, we have a greater responsibility to do all in our personal and political power, using all our resources to stop this madness. People are dying and our faith and our common humanity supersede any politics or concerns about individual rights. We are more than individuals, we are all created in the image of God and part of the human family.

Our diocese offers many ways you can get involved. Contact us about our Commission on Gun Violence and how you can get involved at your church and in our diocese. In addition I ask that all our churches will join in praying the litany created by Bishops Against Gun Violence. As your Bishop, I also ask you to join me not only in prayer, but in taking action. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can embody the love and the grace that Jesus showed us. Together, we can be the diocese, the Church, that He calls us to be.

In the name of the Prince of Peace,

Bishop Signature Updated 2021

The Rt. Reverend Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez

XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania