The Presbyterian Church in Canada is deeply troubled and saddened by the recent violent shooting at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec (Islamic cultural centre of Quebec). For all those affected by this tragedy, we come together in prayer, asking God to restore peace.
A Message from the Rev. Katherine Burgess, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Quebec City:
“Last night, as I was checking the news before going to bed, I heard what happened at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre. Needless to say, there was little sleep for me after that. My thoughts and prayers are with our Muslim brothers and sisters, those people with whom we work, those people with whom we share this beautiful city.
“The reaction here has been swift, as people of every faith tradition are showing their support of our neighbours. Prayer services are being planned; churches are being opened; a vigil will be happening later today. I ask that you keep us all in your prayers, as we struggle to find God in this. I ask that you pray, not only for the families of those who were killed or injured, but for the families of those who carried out the shootings. We can find peace here, with God’s help. We can move on, with God’s help. We can work together to overcome hatred, with God’s help. Let this not widen the divide, but let it rather bring us together as God’s children.”
Prayer at a Time of Hateful Violence in Canada
God of loving-kindness,
creator and sustainer of all,
you hold all life and souls in your hands.
You sent Christ into the world
as the Prince of Peace
to a world that is too often violent and tragic.
We come to you in prayer in
the face of the shootings
and hate against our Muslim sisters and brothers in Quebec;
we come to you in grief
for those whose lives are cut short or forever changed;
we come to you in anger
because of the violence and hate in the world;
and we come to you in confession
for our complicity in a culture of violence
and for times when we have been silent
in the presence of hateful words
or inactive in the presence of violence.
Give us understanding to comfort those in loss;
give us wisdom to be voices of peace in moments of chaos, tension and fear;
give us courage to be a force for change in our communities;
and give us strength to help build your kingdom of
reconciliation, love and peace in this world.
And in your grace, let us see the day when guns and all weapons that destroy life are
transformed into instruments of peace and healing.
We gather in prayer to ask these things in Jesus’ name.