20 years after Oklahoma bombing, bishop calls for prayer, remembrance

April 17, 2015



Participants in the Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal Gathering to Challenge the Epidemic of Violence conference on April 11 will visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum which memorializes the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh, an act of domestic terrorism that killed 168 people and injured 600 others. The Field of Empty Chairs includes a chair for each life lost, including 19 smaller chairs for the children who died that day. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

The Field of Empty Chairs at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum includes a chair for each life lost, including 19 smaller chairs for the children who died in the Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh, an act of domestic terrorism that also injured 600 others. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma] Oklahoma Bishop Edward J. Konieczny wrote to the diocese April 15 to call Episcopalians to “hope, love, and community” as they approach the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City building on April 19, 1995 (it was Wednesday of Holy Week) in an act of domestic terrorism that killed 168 people and injured 600 others.

Konieczny’s letter follows.


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. This attack resulted in the deaths of 168 people and forever changed our capital city, our nation, and ourselves.

As we approach this anniversary, let us not focus our attention on stories of anger, fear, or violence; but, rather, let us turn our attention to the stories of hope, love, and community that surround that day. Let us remember the immeasurably courageous rescuers who plunged into danger to save our neighbors. Let us remember the unified fortitude and kindness our capital city portrayed, reminding us all that we are truly stronger together than we are apart. Let us remember the love, support, and generosity that poured into our capital city from around the world. Most importantly, let us remember the victims who died, their families and loved ones, and those whose lives were changed forever that day. Let us pray for peace, healing, hope, and reconciliation for all on this anniversary and always. I invite congregations to remember this anniversary in their Prayers of the People this Sunday.

Please join me in prayer:
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Faithfully,

+Bishop Ed

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