The General Conference
The United Methodist Church

April 16 - 26, 1996
Denver, Colorado

TO: Mayor Ron Norrick and the People of Oklahoma City
FROM: General Conference, The United Methodist Church

We greet you in the name of the Comforter, Jesus Christ, the Lord.

We, United Methodists from around the world, gathered in our quadrennial meeting known as the General Conference, took pause today to remember the terrible tragedy that your city suffered one year ago today. We lifted up prayers for the memory of those who died, for the comfort of those who survived, and the strength of those who helped. On the front page of our daily newspaper, The Daily Christian Advocate, in the lead article entitled, "God Is In This Place," the Rev. Thomas Roughface, of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, wrote:

Those who were in Oklahoma City April 19, 1995, will always remember that day in particular, and the days after, as a city and community united to stand up to tragedy. On that day, one would wonder: Where was God?

The awful sight of the federal building is now gone. In its place is the beginning of a beautiful park. A people's faith, courage and determination are reflected in such beauty and newness. Life goes on amid stark reminders of what happened here. Recovery. . . healing. . . rebuilding, yet, for some, the struggle still continues.

The Scripture paints a vivid picture of people rebuilding out of ruin and claiming the promises of God: things new and lasting, things better than before. Let us hope this for the people of Oklahoma City. Today, amid freshly planted trees, flowers and green grass, a city will remember and give thanks to God for who was--and is--there!

We join you and the people of Oklahoma City in remembering the dead, comforting those who mourn, and honouring again those who gave of themselves to help. And we lift up our prayers that whatever hatred or motivation drove someone to this terrible ation be removed from all heats so that an event such as this never occur again.

May the God of comfort and peace be with you all.