Last night our chili cookoff was a huge success as we restarted our Wednesday night programming with our communion service in the chapel, Backpack Buddies, choir rehearsal, and discipleship for our children, youth, and adults.  It was wonderful to see new faces, new families, and hear great conversations around the table.  If you didn’t have a chance to join us last night, I hope you’ll join us nest week.  As always, Open Table is completely free, feel free to bring a friend or a neighbor to join us. God is moving in a powerful way here at Pittman Park and that’s something worth sharing with others.

While I celebrate the exciting things that are happening at Pittman Park, I also want us to be sensitive to the pain our community is experiencing. It feels difficult to celebrate what God is doing when those around us are experiencing profound loss.

Yesterday, a child was struck and killed by a vehicle on the way to school. Today, a family woke up without a son, children rode the bus without their friend, and teachers struggle to find words to help students process their grief and loss. The scriptures remind us in Romans 12:15 that we are a people called to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.” We are to bear the joys and pains of our family, friends, neighbors, and community, and to be sensitive to the heartbreak and affliction of those around us, even as we celebrate what God is doing among us.

I encourage you to take some time today to intentionally lift up the Bradley family and the faculty, staff, and students of William James Middle School to offer prayers of healing and hope for our community and for our world.

I offer you this simple prayer as a place to start:

Lord, meet all those affected by this terrible tragedy with grace, peace, comfort, and hope. Surround the Bradley family with your presence as they mourn the loss of their child, be with students throughout our county as they remember and grieve for their friend, and help us all witness to the hope we have in Jesus Christ in the midst of overwhelming tragedy. 

I am praying with you.

For Jesus. For People. For Community.