Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison expressed the need for prayers for Christ’s consolation in a statement released after the Dec. 14 school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left a reported 27 dead, including 20 children and the gunman.
Harrison noted that Synod staff continue to remain in touch with LCMS New England District officials and the Rev. Robert H. Morris II, pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown, which is about 60 miles northeast of New York City and 45 miles south of Hartford, Conn.
“Our hearts go out to all, and we pray the consolation of Christ can be brought to everyone during this time of unspeakable violence and tragedy,” Harrison said in the statement.
In an email message to LCMS staff members, the Rev. Glenn F. Merritt, director of Disaster Response for the Synod, wrote that he had talked by phone with someone at Christ the King and learned that Morris was at the firehouse in Newtown, where teachers and others had taken students from the school to meet their parents.
Merritt wrote that Morris was “with parents, children and teachers right now.” He also indicated that the person he spoke with at Christ the King “believes that no children or teachers from [the congregation] have been killed or injured in the terrible event.”
He added that a service was being planned at Christ the King for this evening (Dec. 14).
Merritt also wrote that he “expressed the support of the LCMS and staff at the International Center and offered our resources as needed to Pastor Morris and [LCMS New England District] President Rev. Timothy Yeadon.”
Merritt indicated that he “will continue to follow up with Pastor Morris.”
Resources for church and home use in response to the tragedy in Newtown — including prayers, Scripture readings and hymn suggestions — are available online at www.wmltblog.org and www.lcms.org/lup/12162012.