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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Area vigil to remember Conn. shooting victims

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Henry County and Martinsville prayer vigil will be held today to remember the 26 victims of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and to show compassion for the people of Newtown, Conn.

It will begin at 7 p.m. in the Martinsville Middle School auditorium.

The prayer vigil, which is sponsored by the Martinsville and Henry County Ministerial Association, will involve representatives of local governmental agencies, law enforcement, fire and rescue, educators, clergy and concerned citizens, according to a news release and Pastor Steve Garner of Mount Bethel United Methodist Church. Garner is president of the ministerial association.

“We hope to have a good crowd to show support and love to our brothers and sisters in Newtown,” Garner said. “They have gone through more than they should. It has rocked the whole nation and Martinsville and Henry County as well. Children and youth are asking how this could have happened.”

At the vigil, there will be a litany of prayers in which everyone attending will be able to participate, according to the news release.

Garner said he hopes the prayer vigil will be “a catalyst” for an ongoing community conversation, and the first monthly meeting for that conversation has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School. Locations of future meetings will be announced.

“Everything is on the table” for those meetings, but topics could include such things as conflict resolution, violence prevention, guns, mental health, bullying in schools, and the commandments of loving God and loving neighbors, Garner said.

“No one knew it (the shootings) would happen in Connecticut. It could happen in Martinsville and Henry County just as easily as there,” he said.

The news release states: “Our goal is to be resourceful to parents and their children. We want to change our expressions of anger and violence towards other citizens. We want to inform how to better resolve our disagreements and difficulties with our other citizens. We want crime to decrease and peace to increase so we can focus towards a better tomorrow.”

“There is a tremendous need to address the many issues surrounding the safety and well-being of our children’s development in Martinsville and Henry County,” the release added.

 

 
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