Bishop Brian Seage of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi said he was heartbroken when he got the news about the school shooting.
“I was horrified and sad, angry, and ultimately just full of grief and sorrow. But I also think it’s time for the faith community and really the entire human family to come together,” said Seage.
Members of Jackson’s spiritual community said events like this are always tragic, but they said it’s even more concerning when children are involved.
“It caused pain and suffering to all the parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts of all those children and people that were lost,” said Buford Moore, a member of Greater Bethlehem Temple Church. “You have to be concerned because this could happen at any school. I hope someone listens to this and takes heart.”
School shootings often lead to a political battle that creates division among communities. However, Seage said people need to come together to grieve and find solutions to this nationwide issue.
“I’ve seen some great things in my denomination, the Episcopal Church, where a task force assembled to talk about gun violence and to address violence came together. It had people of different thoughts, different political parties, and different philosophies and ideologies around guns, and they came together in a very positive way. If that can just be a small micro cause of the world, we should be able to come together,” said Seage.
The bishop believes churches and houses of worship across the country will likely address the shooting during their next services.
“All of our churches, or most of our churches will acknowledge this. Certainly, in their prayers, but I know one of our churches already that will be having a healing service, and I suspect there will be others that will be opening the doors and making themselves available for folks whose souls are hurting,” said Seage.
He said communities everywhere need to come together to make sure schools are safe places for all children.