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Connecticut church member survives Sandy Hook school shooting

Congregation 'in shock' as it plans candlelight vigil and looks to 'pick up the pieces' in its grief-stricken community.

A teacher who attends the Danbury Church of Christ in Connecticut survived the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in which 20 students and six school employees died.
Minister Doug Vile identified the teacher as Robin Walker.
“She’s a special education teacher and was in a reading class,” Vile told The Christian Chronicle. “She huddled kids in a corner and read stories to them while the shooting was going on. She kept them safe and together and calm until the police came.
“Bless her heart, she loves those kids,” he added.
On the Sunday after the Dec. 14 attack, the 100-member congregation conducted a special “lament service” focused on Scripture and prayer. The church is about eight miles northwest of the Newtown, Conn., school.

“The mood was obviously very somber,” said deacon Rob Melillo, who has a daughter, Kaley, 7, the same age as the children who died. “In reality, everyone is just still in a state of shock.”
Amid that shock, Danbury church leaders voiced appreciation for the hundreds of fellow Christians across the nation who called and e-mailed after the shooting.
“We’re just thankful for all the love and support that have been expressed,” Vile said.
At press time, the church was making plans for a candlelight vigil to pray and remember the victims.
“We haven’t figured out what our role is going to be in helping the community get back on its feet,” the minister said. “When the national emphasis goes on to someplace else, we’re going to be here to pick up the pieces.”
Read Vile’s reflections on the tragedy and look for additional coverage in the next print edition of the Chronicle.

  • Feedback
    Let’s hope and pray that our society asks how to find the Lord’s way to prevent ever again such unspeakable tragedies, and not just the solutions that seem quick and easy.
    December, 22 2012

    The comments from Al Price struck a chord. I was baptised 52 years ago. Have worshiped with a variety of congregations. I feel there is a shift away from “Let’s not do it, it might offend someone” to “I have talked to the elders, and we prayed about it, let’s go.” I think many folks in many congregations want very much to get more involved. May God Bless the efforts of all involved in helping the Sandy Hook families.
    Ron Stuart
    Jackson St. Church of Christ
    willard, MO
    December, 21 2012

    Last Sunday night I lead a prayer. “Lord, sometimes words escape us. Keep us from the evil one. Amen.”
    Jason Goldtrap
    Central Church of Christ, Haines City, FL
    Davenport, Florida
    December, 21 2012

    How can our congregation get involved in the teddy bare program or other supportive efforts?
    Donny Weimar
    Donny Weimar
    Commerce, TX
    December, 21 2012

    The Vancouver church took time during our Sunday assembly to write notes of sympathy and encouragement to the Sandy Hook community. We mailed about 75 notes to the school.
    Bonnie Miller
    Vancouver Church of Christ
    Vancouver, Washington
    December, 20 2012

    Thanks Bro. Vile and to the congregation for engaging in such thoughtful and spiritual recognition and heart-felt rituals that reflected the spirit of Christ at such a time of tragedy. I really wish Churches of Christ everywhere would show willingness to engage in such related activities in worship at such a time.
    Al Price
    Diamond Grove Church of Christ
    Henderson , TN
    United States
    December, 20 2012

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