5-member Collegium of Officers today (Feb. 28) released a pastoral prayer in
response to the tragic shooting of five high school students at Chardon (Ohio) High School, near Cleveland.
Three of the five
teens injured in the Feb. 27 incident have died. A sixth teen, the suspected gunman, is in
custody awaiting arraignment, said Chardon police.
Here is the
complete text to the pastoral prayer released by the UCC’s Collegium of
"With heavy hearts, we join with Greater Cleveland, our
nation and global neighbors in our concern for those impacted by the shootings
at Chardon High School on Feb. 27. May your healing presence be felt in lives
broken by violence and weary with grief. Console with your abiding love each
student, parent, and community member, and guide those with the responsibility
of counseling them in this difficult time. Be especially with the families of
those whose lives ended so abruptly as they struggle to make sense of their
"In this season
of Lent, this devastating news reminds us of the many ways we fall short of
your vision of shalom, even as we strive to follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
We live in a culture saturated with subtle and overt forms of violence, and
this tragedy is yet another sign of what it is doing to our children and our
be with us as we contemplate this news and look for ways to support the people
of Chardon. Challenge us to take inventory of our own hearts, looking into
how well our own lives bear witness to the peace and the justice you envision for
this world. Grant in our living a humble mindfulness of your way, modeled
in Christ, that in our daily lives we would reckon with your wisdom and choose
it over the way of the world.
efforts to bear witness to your resurrection ways in Good Friday moments such