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A church responds to hate in Overland Park

A church responds to hate in Overland Park

An Overland Park Episcopal Church responds to hate as reported in Time. The Rev’ds Benedict Varnum and Gar Demo write:

St Thomas the Apostle lies within a mile of the sites where a shooter targeted Jewish communities yesterday, killing a man, a woman, and a teenaged boy from our neighborhood of Overland Park. Our members attend activities at the Jewish Community Center, and we have had members in residence at Village Shalom. Many of us know people who are affected, and some of us knew the victims and their families. For all its size and population, Overland Park is a small town; we know each other, and we care for one another.St%20Thomas.jpg

As we heard the first terrible reports, we determined to hold a vigil – to offer a place to come together immediately as a community. Rabbi Jacques Cukiekorn of Temple Israel helped us plan, with hymns and prayers from Judaism and Christianity. We announced by local news that we would open our doors, and hundreds came: families and neighbors, and dozens of youth who had put on school shirts and theatre shirts in support of the young man who had been killed.

….

But surely the most powerful moment came when a woman named Mindy Corporon explained who she was: the daughter of one man who’d been killed, and the mother of another – a teenage boy. Mindy spoke to our assembled neighborhood, thanking everyone for coming. She explained the random events that caused her father to be the one taking her son to this audition, as the rest of the family juggled sports and other activities, finally summarizing it with profound words: “We were in life; we were having life. And I want you all to know that we’re going to have more life, and I want you all to have more life.” These were the words of a woman who had lost both father and son only hours before.

Read it all here.

Today on KCUR Arthur Nemitoff, Rabbi, Congregation B’nai Jehudah and the Rev. Gar Demo, priest at St. Thomas the Apostle Church discuss “Coping With Targeted Violence In The Aftermath Of Shootings In Overland Park”:

The day after a harrowing series of shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom, Central Standard convenes community leaders to take the first steps toward healing and understanding. Do we find answers in spirituality? Ethics? Shared humanity and friendship? Tune in for this half-hour segment to hear how Kansas City’s communities are responding to a tragic act of targeted violence.

For more information on St Thomas, go to Facebook

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