In remembrance of the tragedy at Sandy Hook

Dear friends,
God has not called us to ministries of ease, but to serve both in times of joy and celebration and in times of sorrow or tragedy. In just a few days, it will be one of both times, as we continue our Advent journey toward embracing the child of Bethlehem, and as we remember with tears the children of Newtown, senselessly slain just one year ago on December 14th.  We offer you this prayer and these resources, in the hopes you may find them helpful in your own reflections, and that you may use them as seems good to you in times of public prayer and corporate worship.  We offer them with our own prayers for you, the servants of a loving God. May God help you carry the burdens you are given. May you find that you can lay those burdens on our Savior, and find the Holy Spirit’s joy.   God’s peace to you on behalf of the entire Conference staff,  Eric Anderson

A Prayer for Children

God, please hold the children.

Please hold the children:

The children who have been swept from us by our own unbridled violence,
The children who dare not weep at the graves of their friends for fear of the next mortar shell,
The children of Newtown, of Hartford, of New Haven, of Bridgeport, The children of too many other places where blood rebukes the sunlight.

Please hold the children:

The children who grieve for their own children, or their grandchildren,
The children who mourn for their parents, or their friends,
The children who sob over the biers of strangers,
The children who hold their faces stony still for fear that the anguish will break them.

Please hold the children:

The children whose nights come without shelter,
The children whose days come without bread,
The children whose tears bring no comfort,
The children whose smiles go unanswered.

God, help us hold the children.

Help us hold the children:

With hands that overflow with sustenance and shelter,
With arms that will bear them through the bitterest of times,
With ears that, listening, will help heal troubled minds,
With fingers that will reach forth and gently dry their tears.

God, one and all: we are your children.

God, help us hold the children.

God, please hold the children:

Hold them lovingly through us.

Amen.

Resources

Sojourners magazine’s current issue has a series entitled, “Grief, Courage and Perseverance – Reflections on guns and hope a year after Newtown.”

 

http://sojo.net/magazine/2013/12/grief-courage-and-perseverance


The Disciples Light a Candle for Children devotional series is here:

 

https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/dhm/dhm-ministries/family-and-childrens-ministries/light-a-candle/2013-light-a-candle-for-children/


The Children’s Defense Fund Materials on Violence and Children are here:

 

http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/2013-sabbath-manual/2013-sabbath-manual.html


The Association of United Church Educators materials are here:

 

http://www.auce-ucc.org/AUCEhomepage/Children%26ToughIssues.html

 

 

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