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May 25, 2022

Coordinating Prayers and Outreach to our Neighbors in Uvalde

From the Rt. Rev. David M. Reed, Bishop of West Texas

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the aftermath of yesterday's murder of 19 elementary school students and 2 teachers in Uvalde, people from all over the Diocese and around the country have been asking how they can help the victims’ families and the devastated community. We are communicating those expressions of love and concern to the people of St. Philip’s Church. Many needs are not yet known, and more needs will likely emerge in the weeks ahead. Blood donations are needed; volunteers coming to Uvalde are not.

At this time, Bishop Rayford High and I urge the churches of West Texas to offer special prayers this Sunday (and beyond), remembering especially: the victims and their families; Uvalde school teachers; law enforcement officers, first responders and medical personnel who came to the aid of so many; the people of St. Philip’s; and the town of Uvalde.

We also ask that all our churches take up a special offering, which the Diocese will send directly to St. Philip’s to disperse as needed for the relief and healing of individuals and their community. Information about this special offering and other resources are included below.

Additionally, St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Uvalde invites the diocese to "Lament and Hope: Light in the Darkness," a special prayer service that will be livestreamed on their Facebook page this Thursday, May 26, at 6:00 p.m. CT. They will ring their church bells 22 times each day at 12:00 p.m. (noon) for the foreseeable future, and invite other congregations to consider doing the same.

May we continue to "encourage one another and build each other up" during the days to come.

Love in Christ,

+David Reed
Bishop of West Texas

Prayers & Resources

Special Offering for Uvalde 

The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas invites congregations to collect a special offering to benefit individuals and families affected by this tragedy. Donations sent to the diocesan office will be given to St. Philip's Church in Uvalde to disperse as needed for the relief and healing of individuals and their community.

Congregations and individuals can give online, at dwtx.org/give, by texting the word "Uvalde" to (210) 796-6805, or by mailing a check made out to the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas with "Uvalde Response" on the memo line to the address below.

*Episcopal Diocese of West Texas
Attn: Uvalde Response
P.O. Box 6885
San Antonio, TX 78209

A Prayer for Uvalde

O God our Father, whose beloved Son took children into his arms and blessed them: Give us grace to entrust your beloved children of Uvalde to your everlasting care and love, and bring them fully into your heavenly kingdom. Pour out your grace and loving-kindness on all who grieve; surround them with your love; and restore their trust in your goodness. We lift up to you our weary, wounded souls and ask you to send your Holy Spirit to take away the anger and violence that infects our hearts, and make us instruments of your peace and children of the light. In the Name of Christ who is our hope, we pray. Amen.

The Rt. Rev. David M. Reed, Bishop of West Texas

A Prayer for Those Who Grieve in Uvalde

May the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, empower us through your Holy Spirit to be witnesses of your love, compassion and forgiveness in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting. We pray that your Holy Spirit will lead those who minister to the grieving and suffering families of the nineteen children and two teachers who died.

Give us, O Lord, the courage to walk through the valley of the shadow of death as we mourn this horrific tragedy. Guide us to to respond according to your will, even as to be Christ’s light to this broken and sinful world.

All this we plead through Jesus Christ our Lord who died to set this world free. Amen.

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., Assistant Bishop of West Texas

"Lament and Hope: Light in the Darkness": May 26

St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Uvalde invites the diocese to "Lament and Hope: Light in the Darkness," a special prayer service this Thursday, May 26, at 6:00 p.m. CT. The service will be livestreamed on their Facebook page, at fb.com/StPhilipsChurchUvalde.

Resources for Families and Churches When Talking about Traumatic Events

Suzanna Green, Bishop's Deputy for Christian Formation, has gathered a list of developmentally appropriate resources for talking to children and teens about shootings and other tragic events. Questions may be directed to formation@dwtx.org.

"Talking to Children about the Shooting"

Members of the diocesan Mental Health Commission have recommended "Talking to Children about the Shooting," a conversation guide from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Even in communities far from this event, children will need to turn to trusted adults for help with their thoughts and feelings about the stories and images they may see on the news.

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