My Letter following the Newtown tragedy

"O God, your beloved Son took children into his arms and blessed them.  Give us grace, we pray, that we may entrust these little ones along with their teachers to your never failing care and love, and bring us all in your heavenly kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

"And now my soul is poured out within me;

days of affliction have taken hold of me.

The night racks my bones,

and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest."   Job 30:16


"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from helping me, 

   from the words of my groaning?

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;

  and by night, but find no rest."                   Psalm 22:1


"Jesus began to weep."    John 11:35


There are no words available to me to adequately express the loss and sorrow I feel over this tragedy in Connecticut.  It may be the season of Advent, but it feels like the morning after Good Friday, before anyone realized the word "Good" could be added.

Our hearts are broken for the parents, siblings, family, coworkers, first responders, ministers and residents surrounding the Newtown, Connecticut community.  We pray, indeed.  But, this morning my prayer is more deep sigh, than eloquent words. 

From across the country, and from our partners around the world, we are receiving offers of assistance, promises of prayer, expressions of a desire to help and be with us.  One congregation from Colorado, who lived through the Columbine shootings of 1999, called us to offer financial support, many of my colleagues in the Conference of Bishops as well as clergy from their synods have sent prayers, and offers to help.

Although, no family (to my knowledge) from any of our congregations lost anyone in this tragedy, there are still many in the area who know someone or simply by virtue of living in the area are impacted.  We have at least two members from area congregations who had either a child or grandchild who attended the school, but were unharmed.

If any of you wish to communicate with the congregations closest to Newtown, CT you my write them, if you wish. 

Prince of Peace Lutheran

PO Box 5184

119 Junction Road

Brookfield, CT  06804

Pastors Mark Nordskog & Amanda Warner

St. James Lutheran Church

111 Peter Road

Southbury, CT  06488

Pastor Scott Nessel

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
466 Elm Street
Monroe, CT  06468

In addition, these congregations have a connection to this incident through family or friends in their congregation or daycare/preschool programs

Grace Lutheran 

150 Chapel St

Stratford, CT  06614

Pastor Cathy Rohrs

Salem Lutheran

3160 Park Avenue

Bridgeport, CT 06604

Pastor Marjo Anderson

Immanuel Lutheran

25 Great Hill Road

Oxford, CT  08478

Pastor Bruce Steinway

There is a time for compassion, and a time for outrage. I'm experiencing both simultaneously. Suddenly, the day of the holy innocents has been brought to life, sadly, in our time once again.


Bishop Jim Hazelwood