Statement on Kansas City Shooting

February 15, 2024
What should have been a day of celebration became a nightmare when shooters opened fire on the crowds gathered yesterday at the Chiefs Kingdom Champion Parade near Union Station in downtown Kansas City.

I invite you to join me in praying for the victim who died, and the other spectators who were injured in the attack. Our hearts go out to the family members who are grieving and all who are reeling from the violence. We are grateful for law enforcement and other first responders who acted quickly, aided the wounded and helped those fleeing the scene to seek safety.

I refuse to accept that mass shootings are “normative.” Just because something is, doesn’t mean it should be. Violence of any kind disrupts the peace God wants for all his people. And as United Methodists we embrace a gospel that believes we have been filled with a power to do great things (Jn. 14:12). As people who practice our faith, I urge you to act. Yesterday also marked the beginning of the season of Lent. It’s a season that asks us to do the seemingly impossible — to find quiet in a world full of noise, to repent in a world bent on pointing the finger, to practice self-sacrifice in a world quick to shirk responsibility and to fast in a world obsessed with feeding every desire. As United Methodists, I wonder if we might do the seemingly impossible through the power of the Holy Spirit when it comes to addressing the gun violence raging in our communities?

Our Office of Mission, Service and Justice has compiled resources for you and your congregations to demonstrate that we believe in the power of God working in our midst. May we open ourselves to power of God at work within us and do whatever we can to alter the current course of this behavior once and for all.

News of yet another mass shooting can make us cynical, throwing up our hands that nothing can be done. Such tragedies can make us doubt God’s power and question God’s mercy. We point to the shadows cast by violence in our world as proof that God is not working in the world. But I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love (Rom. 8). If God is with us, then God is with us even in those times and places where it seems that death and darkness have prevailed.

Light of the world, have mercy on us. Guide us in the way of peace.

In Christ,

Robert D. Farr

 Responding to Gun Violence Resources
The United Methodist Church Resolution 3428 in the current Book of Resolutions calls for an end to gun violence. Read the full resolution at


>“Thoughts and prayers” during such violence is often derided as both naïve and cynical. But, as the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley wrote, “All that a [faithful person] does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer, when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God.” Prayer is how we communicate with God. In prayer, we share our hearts. We also pause to listen for wisdom and guidance.
>For United Methodist congregations to consider leading or joining ecumenical or interfaith gatherings for public prayer at sites where gun violence has occurred and to partner with law enforcement to help prevent gun violence.
>Discipleship Ministries worship resources on violence.
>God, show us how to do more: A prayer in response to violence by Aimee Cox


>For congregations to make preventing gun violence a regular part of our conversations and prayer times. We encourage United Methodist churches to frame conversations theologically by utilizing resources such:
>Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities: Reflections on Gun Violence (Bible study based on Micah 4:1-4)
>Courageous Conversations with Youth on Gun Violence
>Orange Resources for Leading in Crisis
>Parent Cue: 5 Ways to Support Your Kids During Scary Times
>Gun Violence Prevention 101 Cheat Sheet
>Gun Violence Faith and Facts Card
>The Gun Violence Archive
>The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence


>For congregations to assist those affected by gun violence through prayer, pastoral care, creating space and encouraging survivors to share their stories, financial assistance, and identifying other resources in their communities as victims of gun violence and their families walk through the process of grieving and healing.
>For United Methodist congregations that have not experienced gun violence to form ecumenical and interfaith partnerships with faith communities that have and to support them and learn from their experiences.
>For individuals and congregations to discover ways of partnering and giving to local and national non-profits and causes that support research and targeted solutions that address the root causes of gun violence.


>For United Methodist congregations to advocate for laws that prevent or reduce gun violence at the local and national levels. Contact your elected officials by visiting Take Action: United Methodist Call to End Gun Violence.
> is a website developed by the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri targeting gun violence prevention. The website includes a letter-writing campaign to the Missouri Senate and Missouri House of Representatives calling for universal background checks for gun purchases, age requirements to buy and carry a firearm, permits to have, red flag laws, and safe firearm storage requirements.
>For United Methodist congregations to partner with local law-enforcement agencies and community groups to identify gun retailers that engage in retail practices designed to circumvent laws on gun sales and ownership, encourage full legal compliance, and to work with groups like Heeding God’s Call that organize faith-based campaigns to encourage gun retailers to gain full legal compliance with appropriate standards and laws.
>Build awareness for gun safety and addressing the epidemic of gun violence in our nation by participating in programs like National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Month and WearOrange.