Tulsa Christians Gather To Support Newtown, Connecticut

Sunday, December 16th 2012, 7:24 pm
By: Tess Maune

Oklahomans, like the rest of the nation, are trying to understand why 26 people were gunned down in a Connecticut elementary school on Friday.

"We ask in prayers that you would be with all of those in Newtown," Park Plaza Church of Christ minister Mitch Wilburn said.

The quiet, little town turned horror scene is halfway across the country, but it's heavy on the hearts of Oklahomans.

"We're all humans and we're all connected," Susie Page said. "I just feel hurt for people that are hurting and joy for people that are joyful, but right now, we are hurting for them."

12/15/2012 Related Story: Authorities Release Victims' Names In Connecticut School Shooting

Park Plaza Church of Christ opened its doors Sunday morning to comfort the grieving.  At the last minute, Wilburn threw out his planned sermon.  Instead, there were familiar verses.

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted..."

And there also was the cruel reminder of a Christmas story that often times goes untold, and one Wilburn said has a bone-chilling similarity to that at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"We forget about the Christmas season being about a madman who says innocence will die," he said. "His name was Herod, and it happened in Bethlehem to children who were innocent."

The minister's hope was to help bring understanding to the unimaginable tragedy.

A message church elder Joe Reese said he'll never forget.

"Being a Christian doesn't protect you from all the evil in the world, it just gives us a way to deal with that evil," Reese said.

And in time when so many feel so helpless, church members are doing what they can to show their love and support to Newtown.

A banner crowded with notes and messages of hope is headed straight to Connecticut.

It's a small offering with a greater meaning.

"Those of us who have received comfort give that comfort to others and let that be a process of healing for others and also for ourselves," Reese said.