‘We are not giving up’
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — It’s just before 9 a.m. on a…
That’s the title of Charles M. Clodfelter’s special article in this coming Sunday’s Eastwood Church of Christ bulletin.
Like so many in his border community, the El Paso, Texas, minister is trying to make sense of last weekend’s mass shooting that claimed 22 lives at a Walmart not far from the Costco where he and his wife, Theresa, were shopping.
“We prayed Saturday and everyday since and will continue to pray for the hurting and our nation,” Clodfelter, a full-time preacher since 1962, wrote in the bulletin. “Some of our church family were near the location, others had left a short time before. No one could imagine what would happen on that Saturday and it is still hard to comprehend.
“The solution to these terrible events is Jesus,” he added. “Unfortunately, our society has left the teaching of Jesus as not relevant to life or eternity. As a result, their children struggle to even believe in God. We are in a Mission field.”
Early Sunday, the inexplicable happened again — roughly 1,600 miles away — when a different gunman massacred nine people in a nightlife district in Dayton, Ohio.
Still reeling from Memorial Day tornadoes that ravaged hundreds of houses, apartments and businesses, many in Dayton were left “feeling depression, anger and emptiness,” said Andrew Brewster, elder and minister for the Church of Christ, North Dayton.
The community has embraced the slogan “Dayton Strong,” Brewster said.
“People have worked together. People have helped each other,” the Dayton minister said. “In the midst of suffering and loss have been many Christians serving and helping those harmed.
“In the midst of suffering and loss have been many Christians serving and helping those harmed.”
“Many prayer vigils have been held,” he added. “Many have cried together. The giving of love and support to others has been so remarkable. It is almost unbelievable the acts of kindness and love that have been demonstrated.”
Between them, El Paso and Dayton count about two dozen Churches of Christ with roughly 2,400 men, women and children in the pews on a typical Sunday, according to a national directory published by 21st Century Christian.
In a Facebook post, the Montwood Church of Christ in El Paso described Saturday as “The kind of day we hope to never see. The kind of day we never forget. The kind of day that reminds us of our desperate need for the love of God in his Son Jesus.”
“We hope you will join us as we lament this tragedy, pray for our city, seek a word from the Lord, and mobilize to help,” added the post by the Montwood church, which has English- and Spanish-speaking ministers.
Montwood minister Donnie K. Martin reflected on the tragedy in his sermon Sunday.
We welcome additional comments from members and leaders of Churches of Christ in El Paso and Dayton. Contact [email protected].
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