Pastor’s Corner – May 14, 2023

We are getting more details from the horrific mass shooting that took place close to our home. 

Any one of us could have been at Allen Outlet Mall this past weekend. With the tragic death of eight victims, with the exception of a security guard that was killed, seven were people of color and four Asians and three Hispanics, including three children. I want to name the victims, now public information, to honor them not as statistics but our neighbors: Elio Cumana Rivas 32, Aishwarya Thatikonda 26, Christian LaCour 23, Cindy Cho 35, Kyo Cho 37, James Cho 3, Daniela Mendoza 11 and Sophia Mendoza 8. 

We know that the mass shooter had connections with white supremacists. Collin County has one of the fastest growing Asian American populations, comprising 20% (7% in USA). The fact that half of the victims were Asian Americans sends the message that Asian Americans are not safe here. Since the pandemic, across the nation there was a rise of harassment and violence against Asian Americans, scapegoating them for the pandemic. This disturbing trend, and close to our home mass shooting reminds us that we can no longer sit idle and pretend all is alright. So many lives have been affected for generations to come. William Cho, just six years old, is now orphaned, and released from the hospital, his parents and younger brother James died from the shooting. His life is forever changed! We mourn with him and many others from this shooting.

Presbyterians over the decades have addressed this gun violence, in connection with race and other justice issues to bring awareness and advocate social justice. We made concrete recommendations for policy, and legislative changes to ensure public safety and end gun violence. (Link: 1-gun-violence-policy-2010.pdf and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – Resources – 2019 Gun Violence resources packet ( In the past two decades over six hundred thousands have died from gun violence. Most of us know someone directly or indirectly who has been affected by it. This is not an issue that is going away anytime soon, but as a faith community we are going to study and have more in-depth discussion that will lead to advocacy and hold our representatives accountable to make changes. Meanwhile, I want to share with you a prayer from Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. 

Allen, we grieve with you.
May God be with you in your grief,
that you may know consolation.
May God be with you in your confusion,
that you may be led to truth.

Let us remember all who have been harmed by gun violence.
The families who have had children taken from them,
The parent who cries every time they drop their children at school,
The friend who wishes they had done more.
The teacher who puts their body in front of the bullets to shield their students.
The worker who lives in constant fear, wondering, will today be the day.

How Long, O Lord?
How long will we allow the killings to continue?
How long will we continue to let the voices of those who profit from death and fear shape our lives?
How long will we be afraid to take action – to say to lawmakers– Enough 
How Long, O Lord?
How Long?

Gracious God, whose mercy never ends and
Whose Spirit brings the Kairos moment for change.
We call upon you, Lord, to galvanize us all,
Every congregation in Grace Presbytery.

Wake us up in our pews; do not let Christ find us asleep on this watch.
Rather, Lord, grant to our church members, both those of us who own guns and those of us who do not, a unity of purpose to change the debate on gun violence and inspire our lawmakers to action to pass gun safety laws that will make our communities safe.

At all the places where you are proclaimed, give us courage to stand against the principalities and powers that profit from gun violence and work to keep us afraid of our neighbor.

In Christ’s name we pray.

Pastor Dae