Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Everyone in Boston and around the country has been shaken by the tragedy of the bombing yesterday at the Boston Marathon. As your ministers, we know you are deeply saddened. On Sunday, we offered prayers for this event and especially for all of the people who were running as an act of the endurance of the human spirit as well as running for charities and causes seeking to support healing and love in our communities. Our hearts are deeply saddened for the loss of lives and for those who are injured. Please let us pray for families of those who lost their loved ones and for those nursing the wounds of that this tragedy.
Our country and communities have been through a lot, and it can feel overwhelming. We are aware that such events can cause a lot of confusion, fear, sadness, anger and even numbness. All of these are normal and understandable human responses. However, we should walk together, supporting each other and those in need around us, our city and nation grieve. Remember, we are God’s people and instruments of peace even in darkest moments.
But we also want to acknowledge that our children and youth are also likely to be having feelings about the bombing. The world may seem like a very unsafe place to them. Our recommendation to parents and the community in taking care of the children are these: Get support for yourself and the feelings you may have. It is OK to let children and youth know that we are all sad and affected by these horrible events. Small children do not understand what is going on, but they do notice the feelings and fears around them, they may just need to be reassured and may want a little more cuddling and attention.
Older children and youth will know what has happened. Let them know they can ask questions even if we don’t have all the answers. Invite them to share what they are feeling. If we can be of help in a pastoral capacity, to hear and talk with you and your family, let us know. We need to be honest with children but we also need to let them know that there are more people who want to do good things for one another than people who desire to harm others. Also we all need to remember that our God walks with us even in the valley of death..
We would like to offer an opportunity to gather and pray together this Wednesday night April 17th at 7:00 PM in lieu of our usually scheduled bible study. There are also prayer vigils being scheduled around Boston to help us come together with others. Boston Trinity Church will soon be announcing a service for this Friday and we will update you on this.
We are always available for pastoral care if you feel you would like to talk to someone about this tragedy. Just call us. In addition, Rev. Kapya will be at Church on Friday while Rev. Lisa will be available at church, meeting with the youth on Saturday from 11 AM to 2pm. We are also be available by appointment to meet at church or in your homes at other times.
We want to share a prayer that has been offered by our presiding bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori for Boston:
Gracious God, you walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death. We pray that the suffering and terrorized be surrounded by the incarnate presence of the crucified and risen one. May every human being be reminded of the precious gift of life you entered to share with us. May our hearts be pierced with compassion for those who suffer, and for those who have inflicted this violence, for your love is the only healing balm we know. May the dead be received into your enfolding arms, and may your friends show the grieving they are not alone as they walk this vale of tears. All this we pray in the name of the one who walked the road to Calvary.
This Sunday’s reading from the Gospel of John, tells us these words from our savior Jesus Christ “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand”. We know that God will continue to hold us. We ask you all to pray as we heal from this tragedy, keep all those who have been harmed in your prayers. In addition, we might all offer this prayer each night which comes from Compline in the Book of Common Prayer (BOC 132):
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
God Bless You,
Rev. Lisa, Rev. John