A Heartfelt Response to This Week's Umpqua Tragedy
The North Pacific Union and Oregon Conferences have jointly issued the following statement in response to this week's mass shooting:
The Oregon Conference and North Pacific Union Conference church family of members extend our prayers on behalf of all those personally impacted by the tragic events on Thursday, October 1, at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.
Christian Martin, Grants Pass (Oregon) Adventist Church pastor, reports additional sad news, confirmed today by Douglas County authorities. Sarena Moore, one of his church members, was among those killed by the gunman. She was 44. It’s been reported that one of Sarena’s last posts on Facebook was an affirmation of her desire to stand up for Jesus and Christianity.
We urge all Northwest members to pray specifically for the Grants Pass Church and Sarena’s extended family as well as our Roseburg area churches. Please continue to pray for all the students and families impacted along with the first responders and medical personnel.
Al Reimche, Oregon Conference president, says tragedies like this remind us to “join together in praying that God will fill our hearts with a passion to share His love in a world that desperately needs Him.”
In addition, we echo the thoughts of Dan Jackson, North American Division president, shared as follows:
“The Seventh-day Adventist church in North America is heartbroken that once again a gunman has taken nine precious lives in a mass school shooting. We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the nine people killed, the many wounded, and the students, faculty and staff of Umpqua Community College. We also pray for the community of Roseburg and the heartache they are experiencing as a result of this tragedy.
“It is difficult to believe that a great nation like the United States must once again mourn the loss of God’s children whose lives have been senselessly taken at the hands of a mass shooting. Surely, this nation, that has become a beacon of hope and opportunity for scores of people, can be a land where all feel safe from the violence of firearms.
“It is time for our society to engage in open, honest, civil, and productive conversation about finding solutions to put an end once and for all to gun violence. We pray that this tragedy will bring about much needed change and address the pandemic of gun violence.
“We pray for the day when children and adults can attend school without fear. We pray for the day when, as the Prophet Isaiah promises, ‘They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.’”