It is the holiday season. Where people across the globe take time to be especially kind, friendly, giving, and caring as we celebrate the Gift of Love that came into the world. We await His Birth as we give thanks for our friends, family, and loved ones. We take an inventory of our own beliefs and traditions, and begin to consider how we might respond to God's call in the upcoming year.
And then, our lives are shocked by an unimaginable horror. The events of December 14, 2012 were horrific and devastating, leaving 20 innocent young children and 6 caring adults in its wake. There are plenty of articles online about the details so I do not see the need to do so here. I am still so very sad, angry, confused, and filled with questions.
It defies explanation and more importantly, it demands a response!
I ran a Half Marathon on Sunday morning, dressed as Santa. It was a fun race, with thousands of us 'Santas' running through Indianapolis. But as I drove back home to Chicago, I had four hours to sit and think. And I spent some time thinking about the families whose lives have been torn apart due to this tragedy. And I didn't know what I could do to help. To respond. That is, until I got my answer this morning.
A wonderful person has organized a 'virtual race' as a fundraiser to help the survivors. The proceeds from this race, both a Half Marathon and a 5K, will go to the United Way of Western Connecticut who, in partnership with Newtown Savings Bank, has created the 'Sandy Hook School Support Fund' that will be able to provide support services to the families and community that has been affected.
I run. This web site "Runs 2 Live" is my way of journaling and celebrating my decision to live a more healthy life, and to support those who choose to do likewise. When I saw this fundraising opportunity, I knew in my heart that this was my way to respond in a meaningful and tangible manner. I will be running 13.1 miles (a Half Marathon) on December 29th in support of the families and community in Newtown, CT. If you can, I ask for your support via a tax-deductible donation which you can place online via my safe, secured Fundraising Page.
I will end this with a statement from my Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee:
I am heartbroken and horrified by the news of the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, this morning. People who live in the Diocese of Chicago are achingly familiar with the fear, anxiety and grief that comes from living in an area in which guns are too readily available and too frequently used. Yet even as someone who lives with the shaming reality that we cannot protect our young people from gun violence, I am stunned by the madness that unfolded today in Connecticut.
Please join me in praying for the repose of the souls of the victims of this violence, for the recovery of those who were wounded, for the families and friends who must deal with an unfathomable grief, for the vital ministries of law enforcement officers, first responders, and the counselors and clergy who face such a challenging task in the aftermath of these murders.
Pray for the people of the Diocese of Connecticut, for St. John's Sandy Hook, and Trinity Church, Newtown, the Episcopal churches closest to the shooting. Pray for our political leaders, that they may find the will and the wisdom to at least diminish the prospects that another community will have to live through this nightmare. Pray too, for the repose of the soul of the young man who somehow brought himself to take so many lives. Pray as an act of hope and faith that God is with us, even and especially in times such as this.