The latest from the Episcopal bishops of Connecticut includes news of a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown who was killed in the shooting. They write:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
We write with an update on the tragedy in Newtown/Sandy Hook and with a few pastoral recommendations.
Your bishops were blessed to spend the majority of yesterday at Trinity Church in Newtown. The deep faith of the people of Trinity is inspiring and life-giving. The Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd, the rector of Trinity Church, is pastoring her flock with love, grace, and strength. Trinity Church has been affected directly by the shooting tragedy with one current and one former family losing children. Kathie asks that we pray specifically for the Wheeler family who are members of Trinity Church. Please pray for young Ben Wheeler who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School and for his family, father David, mother Francine, and brother. Kathie is providing immediate pastoral care to the Wheelers, and for the parish she has coordinated crisis counselors who specialize in trauma and pediatric psychological care.
We have also been in regular communication with the Rev. Mark Moore who pastors St. John’s Church in Sandy Hook. While St. John’s stands immediately adjacent to the Sandy Hook school, Mark reports that no members of his parish have lost loved ones in the tragedy. Please do keep the people of Trinity Church and St. John’s Church, and their clergy and lay leaders, in your thoughts and prayers for healing and strength.
The Diocese of Connecticut has been blessed by sisters and brothers in Christ across The Episcopal Church and from around the Anglican Communion who are holding us all in their hearts and prayers. We have heard from colleagues in almost every province of The Episcopal Church and from around the Anglican Communion. We are being remembered in prayer and in specific worship services in churches as far away as: Australia, Canada, Congo, Dubai, England, Guyana, Myanmar, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, and others. Never before have we felt the importance and efficacy of our common bonds in the Anglican Communion than we do now in this time of need and in the prayers received.
The Rt. Rev. Robert Gillies, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney in the Scottish Episcopal Church has written a special collect for the Diocese of Connecticut in this time of our grief and loss. The Diocese of Connecticut and the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney are blessed by a companion relationship begun when Bishop Seabury was ordained bishop in Aberdeen in 1784. Bishop Bob’s collect follows. We commend it for your use in services tomorrow on the Third Sunday of Advent:
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Sustaining and redeeming God,
In sadness and in the tragedy of awful loss, we offer before you those young lives lost as a consequence of human violence this past week.
We raise in the distress of this time the families of whose children are no longer to share life and joy with them.
We mourn those other families also fractured by the needless killings of that day.
As Jesus first came to his people and lives of the young and innocent were lost in the cruelty of one individual upon others, so now 2000 years on we stand alongside those whose similar grief is beyond our imagining.
Holy and loving God bring all consolation that can be brought to those most in need of your presence today, and never cease to make your presence real in this their hour of need.
To you we voice this prayer, Amen. ….
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens
The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry