BOSTON — Boston Area Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar has written a letter to the New England Annual (regional) Conference, calling for prayer in response to the explosions Monday, April 15, near the Boston Marathon finish line. The Rev. LaTrelle Miller Easterling, Metro Boston Hope District superintendent, also has released a statement saying a prayerservice is tentatively scheduled at 7 p.m. ET April 16 at Old West Church, United Methodist, if people are permitted into the city.
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar addresses a session of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.
From Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar:
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We are truly saddened by the news that just came regarding the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Along with you I grieve for those that lost their lives and their families, and for those injured in this tragic event. In moments like this, we do not know what to say or how to say it, but will you join me in the prayer of the psalmist, “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” (Ps.46:1).
We do not know the names of those injured and we pray for all, but if you learn of any United Methodists who were affected please let me know so that I may reach out to them and pray with those families. You may contact Alexx Wood our conference communicator if you have any information (email@example.com, 617-838-2828).
Already a colleague bishop, a general secretary in one of our boards and agencies, and others have reached out to me, and I know that many are praying for us. Let us also pray for all those involved in aiding the victims and those in law enforcement responding to this terrible event, as well as clergy of all faiths who are comforting victims and families. Even in the midst of such tragedies may we continue to strive for a world of peace and reconciliation, as followers of the risen Christ.
With prayers and in Christ’s love,
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar
From The Rev. LaTrelle Miller Easterling:
As we face another tragedy in the City of Boston, may we pray for the families of those who have lost their lives, and everyone affected by this horrific situation. All life is precious, and whenever life is taken so senselessly and randomly we feel vulnerable. Yet, we know that we are held and loved by an ever-present God who has promised, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
As of right now Mayor Thomas Menino and Governor Deval Patrick are asking citizens to leave or refrain from traveling into the City of Boston. If we are able to enter the city tomorrow, a prayer service will be held on Tuesday evening, April 16, at 7 p.m. at Old West Church, United Methodist. The address is 131 Cambridge Street, Boston. All are invited into this time of prayer and healing. I have spoken with our bishop, and he is also holding all in prayer.
May we be present for and pray with one another at this difficult time. If you need to speak with me immediately, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rev. LaTrelle Miller Easterling
Superintendent, Metro Boston Hope District