On Friday, May 25, violence, which has hit more schools than any of us can name across our nation, came to Indiana as a school shooting occurred at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Indiana. Again, we are called to prayer. We pray for the two individuals who were injured, a 13-year old female student, and the teacher now hailed a hero, who prevented this tragedy from escalating further. We also pray for those (students, teachers, parents, and guardians) who experienced the sudden fear of loss and let us not forget those who received a reminder of the ones they lost in similar situations.
We must also pray for the student who felt that there was no other way than to bring harm to their school and we pray for the community as it grapples with an event they never thought would happen to them. May we also pray for our state, our teachers, and school employees as they seek to educate, guide, and care for the students in their midst.
Following the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, Billboard music award host and singer, Kelly Clarkson remarked that “this is a call for moments of action,” as she was scripted to call for a moment of silence. Moments of silence are not enough. We must not only pray for those involved, but we must be Jesus to all we encounter. May the love of God we have in our hearts overflow into our communities so that we can, as our Annual Conference theme, “See All the People,” will remind us, see all the people.
Our 5000 More campaign is another way we can act. The 5000 More Campaign seeks to partner with and challenge individuals throughout the United Methodist denomination and The Church worldwide, and those in our communities who seek change to contact state and federal government officials, urging them to seek legislation that will curb gun violence in this country. The campaign’s inception, 5000letters.com, began with the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church in response to the February 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
As we pray and act, Lord have mercy!
Bishop Julius C. Trimble
The following is a statement from the Rev. Jerry Rairdon, Lead Pastor of Noblesville First UMC:
Today has been a very emotional day for our community. The violence that has struck schools throughout the country has come home to us. Many of us will know someone connected to the trauma this day has brought. Let’s celebrate the advanced preparation of our school system and the heroism of a teacher who implemented that training at the risk of his own life. Let’s pray for all the victims and the students who have been traumatized by today’s events. If you can make worship this Sunday, we will take time to pray for all of our school personnel and students who have been impacted.
Let me also share how proud I am of our church staff and Preschool teachers. When the Noblesville schools went on lockdown, our Preschool which was finishing its week of Day Camp went on lockdown as well. Our Family Ministry Staff on a day most take as a day off came in and opened up The Vine for students and parents. They walked the grounds of the high school where hundreds of parents had come to ensure their child was okay. They helped hand out water for those waiting in the hot sun. Our Preschool staff was appreciative of our presence as our students were released. Once again Noblesville First was there for our community and shared the love of Jesus in concrete ways.
Let’s pray this horrible day creates the resolve to do whatever is necessary to keep our students safe here in Noblesville and across our country. Our children deserve a safe environment to learn and grow.