Let us grieve following another tragedy

  • Olivia Holmes Courtesy photo—

Published: 2/20/2018 9:34:01 AM

In the wake of the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., Unitarian Universalist Minister Rev. Olivia Holmes has issued a Prayer for Parkland.

Holmes quoted the President of the UUA, Susan Frederick-Gray, in response to the tragic shootings at of 14 students and 3 adults at the High School in Parkland, Fla., on Valentine’s Day.

“It’s going to take all of us to move our world, and our faith, forward in the ways of truth, compassion, and justice.” When will we rise up in outrage and compassion to say, together, stop the killing?”

Holmes penned a prayer of grief and hope to share with the KUUC congregation:

A Prayer of Grief and Hope

Too many have died, o spirit of life, too many children, too many adults devoted to teaching, coaching, and caring for our children. Let us grieve, and let us pray.

On Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, 14 more children and 3 more caring adults died in the senseless violent attack of Nikolas Cruz, just 19 himself. Nikolas is not much more than a child himself, expelled from school after both his adopted father and adopted mother had died; a troubled young man struggling with life on his own. Let us grieve, and let us pray.

How many must die? Since the Sandy Hook killings in 2012, over 400 children and adults have been shot in over 200 school shootings. What does it take to stop school shootings? What must we do? Let us grieve, and let us pray.

Let us grieve and let us pray for the 14 students and 3 caring adults who died on Wednesday at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Let us speak their names, softly, to ourselves, and join our grief with the grief of their families, their friends, their schoolmates.

Scott Beigel, 35, teacher

Aaron Feis, assistant football coach who looked out for troubled kids

Christopher Hixon, 49, athletic director and great coach

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, soccer player

Martin Duque Anguiano, 14, freshman, funny and sweet

Nicholas Dworet, 17, swimmer headed for college

Jaime Guttenberg, 14, dancer, caring friend to her special needs cousin

Luke Hoyer, 15, basketball player with a huge heart

Cara Loughran, 14, excellent student who loved the beach

Gina Montalto, 14, school winter color guard team, a beautiful soul

Joaquin Oliver, “Guac,” 17, basketball player who loved to write poetry

Alaina Petty, 14, member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, and selfless church volunteer

Meadow Pollack, 18, smart, beautiful and caring; headed for college in 2018

Helena Ramsay, 17, smart and thoughtful, bringing out the best in everyone

Alex Schachter, 14, a sweetheart and trombone player in the school marching band

Carmen Schentrup, 16, a 2018 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

Peter Wang, 15, member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, a good friend to everyone.

Let us grieve for the future 134 bright, loving, talented teenagers will never get to live.

Let us grieve for the 3 adults who lost their lives trying to protect those children.

Let us grieve for all the loved ones left behind; their loss is inconsolable.

Let us grieve for all those in this country who are afraid for their children. They worry when and where this will happen again; for unless we do something, it will happen again.

Let us grieve. Too many children have died. Too many caring adults – teachers, mentors, coaches, have died.

Let us grieve, and let us pray, together, that we might play some part, however small, however local, to make our church and our world safe for all our children; for all our children and for all.

In faith in our faith and in us to be healers in a broken and hurting world.


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