On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, a lone gunman shot and killed six Asian women and two other people in the Atlanta area. The horrific incident sent shock waves throughout the country and jolted the Asian American community. Condemnation of the mass killing was swift and included a rebuke from President Joe Biden. It appears that the gunman targeted Asian Americans, who have experienced a surge in violence since COVID-19.

The Lake Region Conference (LRC) joins all concerned Americans and people of conscience and good will in condemning the senseless act of violence that ended the lives of innocent people. Without question, what happened in Atlanta, GA, was an act of ethnic and gender violence that has no place in a civilized society.

Lake Region is home to several Asian American congregations. We are deeply concerned that our brothers and sisters of Asian descent are being targeted primarily on the basis of their race and ethnicity, and consequently are living in fear and anxiety. Hate crimes have risen against people of Asian descent, who are in this country pursuing the proverbial American dream with tenacity and resolve. 

Ours is a broken world of deeply flawed people. From generation to generation, we pass on a legacy of hate for those who do not look like us or live like us. Our heritage is that of suspicion, discord, rejection, and bitterness. Society spurns acceptance and community and struggles to engage in candid conversations about race that would liberate and bring us together.

Sabbath, March 21, 2021, was Safety Sabbath. While the overarching aim of Safety Sabbath was to underscore the importance of us providing safe spaces for our members and friends to worship, what transpired in Atlanta two weeks ago and in Boulder, Colorado, this week should remind us that the issue of safety transcends houses of worship. Too many innocent people are being gunned downed as they go about their daily activities. Two mass shootings in one week   remind us that this world is not our home and should cause us to long for heaven all the more.

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20). Shabbat Shalom!

Clifford Jones



  1. Ed Grady says:

    Thanks for speaking out against Asian and all. Hate and racism

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