As I write this, the local news this morning is leading with a story of a police officer killed in the line of duty in Weymouth this past weekend. Officer Michael Chesna and bystander Vera Adams were both shot and succumbed to their injuries.
For several years, while a pastor, I served as a chaplain to both the fire and police departments. I am keenly aware of the pain experienced by these departments when one of their own dies in the line of duty. I am also aware of the trauma and suffering they see as they respond to incidents each day within their communities.
That trauma and suffering is all too common across the communities of our Conference. Some make headlines in local news. Some, tragically, do not. And I am keenly aware that whether the news covers the stories or not, our clergy and churches show up. They are there in response to requests that come from the community. And often they are there to initiate ministries of comfort and justice, even while the community is still trying to absorb the news. I am grateful for this. I am grateful for the clergy and lay leaders in churches and the hospital in Weymouth who began to form plans for a vigil before the sun set on the day of the tragedy. I am grateful for clergy throughout our Conference, and the country, who recognize the need to provide spiritual care for the heart and soul of their communities.
In this week’s Emailing you will find a blog from our Disaster Resource and Response Team (read it here) that includes helpful resources for vigils. I hope you will not need these. But if you do, please know we are here for you and for each other. It is part of what it means to belong to our denomination. And, for your part, please hold the folks in Weymouth in your prayers.
Rev. Don Remick
Transitional Interim Conference Minister
Disaster Resource and Response Team
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