March 4, 2018

Florida Regional Minister Responds to Parkland Shooting

Rev. Dr. Betsy Goehrig, Regional Minister of Florida Disciples Regional Church:

We share in prayerful concern and deep sorrow in the aftermath of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Our hearts and prayers surround the families and the entire community in this tremendous tragedy. These atrocities are happening all too frequently in the lives of our children, youth, families, faculty, staff, congregations, and communities.

In reaching out to our South Florida congregations, Craig Watts (Pastor of Royal Palm Christian Church in Coral Springs) responded:

This is our immediate community. A number of the youth we have had at church attended that high school. Lots of tears last night at the Ash Wednesday service. Sorrow and anger. You want to believe such horrors can't intrude into your life. Our area is supposed to be one of the safest in the country. Appreciate the prayers. Grace and Peace, Craig

What can we do? What difference can we make? Don’t stop asking and don’t stop being concerned—never accept this as the new norm—never give up hoping, doing, speaking, changing our world in your corner of it. We can all do something in our own communities, standing in loving support for all who are impacted by this and other acts of violence and rage:

-Pray – individually and corporately
-Be a voice of hope and comfort – provide opportunities for those who need to debrief (we have a number of Disciples who are Chaplains who could be a great resource)
-Host a community service of healing and hope
-Be a voice for change – call/post/write
-Write a column to submit to your local newspaper (print/online)
-Share – let us know what your congregation and community are doing!

Our NBA (National Benevolent Association) recommended the following resources as part of efforts to help students in the aftermath of school shootings. This is beneficial for the students directly involved, and may also be helpful for students who are indirectly impacted by the trauma they have seen and heard about in the news.

Child Traumatic Stress Network: Responding to a School Crisis National
University of Maryland School of Medicine: Resources for Dealing with Traumatic Events in Schools
Help your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting

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