It is a simple word.  


But it means a lot.

There was a another tragedy today, this time in Chardon, Ohio.  A school shooting left (last I heard) 5 people wounded, one of whom died from the gunshot wounds.

To be honest, I was in meetings today from 8:30am almost straight through until 3:30pm.  So while I had heard that there was an incident, I knew almost none of the details.

So this afternoon when I flipped open my laptop with the hope of sorting through the chaos that is my “inbox” I flipped to Facebook and opened the Network page.  There, I saw that Diana Thompson had posted a simple message:

“Please keep in prayer the students, staff and the peoople of Chardon, Ohio. There was a school shooting this morning. One student is dead and 4 injured. Suspect is in custody. Thank you to all who work with youth and help them find hope in the midst of pain, terror and life in general.”  

And below this post was a single comment, posted by Priscilla Austin:


Such a simple, but profound response.  It indicates care, compassion, empathy and a willingness to act.

It is what church does.  When people are in need, when a community struggles, it defines both an act and a culture.

In the church, we pray for each other;  in the Network, we pray for each other.

We don’t have immediate, quick and easy solutions to guns in school, to a culture of violence, or to the personal issues or problems that affected the shooter.

But there is something that we can do.  We can pray.

My hope for our community this week is that we pray.  We pray for those in Chardon, Ohio who are suffering physically and emotionally.  We pray for the high school community there, the emergency responders and the medical professionals working with the injured.  And we pray for the staff and members of Celebration Lutheran Church, the ELCA community in Chardon.

And I hope that as a Network, we commit to praying for each other.

It’s what we do.


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