Members of the Seventh-day Adventist church family mourn all loss of life, but especially cry out against mass violence such as took place last night in Thousand Oaks, California, very close to our headquarters for the western United States, the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Our hearts are shattered for those who lost family and friends last night and for those who will suffer greatly as a result of this senseless violence.
As a family of faith, we pray for healing for all who have been affected. But as much as our prayers go up and our hearts go out to those who have been devastated by this horrific event, we cannot stop there.
We call on our fellow communities of faith and the clergy who lead them to provide a comfortable, safe environment in which people can grieve and recover. We ask them to help facilitate the difficult conversations that can no longer be put off — conversations about why this is happening and how the violence that is wracking our country can be addressed.
As a faith community that convenes in public worship and service, we call on our national and local leaders to do better at keeping the rights of individuals secure by ending the threat that weapons of mass murder pose to all.
We believe that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NIV). May this be true for all those grieving and saddened at this time of loss.
Daniel R. Jackson, president, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
Ricardo B. Graham, president, Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Velino Salazar, president, Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists