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Coffee shop slayings hit close to home


TACOMA, Wash. — On a recent reporting trip to the Pacific Northwest, I was blessed to worship with the Lakeview Church of Christ on a Sunday night.
 
About 35 miles south of Seattle, the Lakeview church is a 450-member congregation not far from the Fort Lewis Army post and McChord Air Force Base.
 
My main reason for visiting Lakeview was to interview couples involved with the church’s military outreach ministry. That story is posted here.
 
But while at Lakeview, I enjoyed meeting minister Glenn Newton and learning about the congregation’s inspirational response to a terrible tragedy.
As you may recall, the execution-style slayings of four police officersat a Forza Coffee Co. shop in nearby Parkland made nationalheadlines two months ago. 
 
For the Lakeview church, the ambush on a Sunday morning in late November hit close to home — way too close to home.
 
At my request, Glenn gave this account of the church’s ties to the coffee shop:
 
The expression “It hits close to home” could have never been truer.Forza is only a few blocks from our building, and we get our coffeefrom them every week. One of our members went to pick it up and couldnot get to the coffee shop for all of the police cars. We did not knowwhat was going on. One of our members who is an officer got word duringBible class what had happened, and our hearts sunk. We were also infear because the killer was still on the loose. Once the killer wascaught, we knew we had to do something.
 
The Wednesday night after the murders, we had a prayer vigil for thecommunity. Over 250 were in attendance. We signed books and cards forthe family. We also had a collection and were able to provide eachfamily with a substantial gift card for a local store. We realized thatmany people were giving to the officers’ guild through local banks andstores, but we did not know how quickly they would receive that money.We knew with family coming in town for a funeral, they would haveunexpected expenses, and we wanted to help. We were also able do giftcards for the children for Christmas from the additional monies thatcame in. We had a substantial amount come in from Pierre, S.D. MyBrother Mark Newton is the minister for the Church of Christ there andalso serves as a police chaplain. Many agencies in that area gave, andthey were able to send a check for over $1,000.
 
We also did not want to leave out the girls that worked at Forza.Wednesday night, while cards were being signed, we also signed one forthe girls. When Forza reopened, there were hundreds of people in lineon that cold Saturday morning. Over 50 of them were from the Lakeviewcongregation. We also sent them a dozen roses just to let them knowthat we care about them too. I know that many of our members havedropped by in the last month to offer words on encouragement to theworkers.
 
Thank you, Glenn, for sharing that.
 
May God keep blessing the Lakeview church in its efforts to showlove and concern to those directly affected by this tragedy.
 
 

Filed under: Inside Story

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