Interfaith Response to Marysville Shooting

M’ville’s interfaith service shows ‘unity in the community’ (slide show)

MARYSVILLE – Instead of tearing the community apart, the school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck last October has brought about “unity in the community.”


Wednesday, February 25, 2015 3:55pm

MARYSVILLE – Instead of tearing the community apart, the school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck last October has brought about “unity in the community.”

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said the area has a “special appreciation for goodness” after the high school shooting, and he is thankful for that.
“It could have gone a much different direction,” he said at the Interfaith Candlelight Prayer Service in the M-P auditorium Feb. 24.
Pastor Terry Kyllo of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church brought 18 spiritual leaders together on the four-month anniversary of the shooting. Each leader had a topic to talk and pray about, but the overall theme was “For Healing and Community.”
Nehring said Oct. 24 was the “worst humanity had to offer. Now it is the best humanity has to offer.”
Tulalip Tribes Vice Chairman Les Parks added, “We are in this together.”
Kyllo said he wanted the event not to remind people of the trauma, but to help them grieve and to respect their feelings.
“We want to invite people to do what they need to do,” he said. “Whatever they are feeling, others are, too.”
He said it’s not the type of event people will get over in a few months.
“This is just one small step on the journey,” he said.
Kyllo said the rare opportunity for so many faiths to be represented was inspiring.
“We respect each other’s differences, and it reveals unity in the community,” he said. Together “we can build our community for the future.”
The topic of Kyllo’s prayer was anger. He explained that it is a normal part of grief, and it actually is an expression of love, showing the person has a vulnerable heart. Anger can be used for good. “It can be an advocate for change, lead to meaningful action and loving work.”
Briefly, this is what each faith leader said:
• Pastor Kevin Forquer of Bethlehem Lutheran Church prayed about grief. In his prayer he said to “draw close to family and friends, and walk with you (God) in time of grief.”
• Rabbi Jessica Marshall of Temple Beth Or prayed for honoring feelings. She referred to the Torah and prayed to “comfort hearts that are shattered, a community torn by grief, and to build a world safe for children.”
• Jafer Sidiqui of American Muslims of Puget Sound prayed about sorrow. He said the Creator makes us all perfect, but “What we do with our lives is up to us.” He said the Quran will guide us on a straight path.
• Michael Jones of Nichiren Buddhist Community prayed about acceptance of our loss. “Loss never comes easy.”
• Dr. Jasmit Singh, guru of the Nanak Sikh Temple, prayed about the courage to seek support. He said the community is hurting and suffering, but support is out there. “It is the command of the Supreme Being to accept the truth. Our lives will not be dictated by anger.”
• Father Dwight Lewis of St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s Catholic Churches prayed about caring for the vulnerable. “We need to pick up the broken pieces of our lives. Only God can fix this.”
• Pastor Kim Reynolds of Hillside Church prayed about community. She said common is a key component of the word community. “Our hearts and souls are one.”
• Pastor Rachel Taber-Hamilton of Trinity Episcopal Church prayed for children. She said young people need to be taught how to “respond to loss, how to grieve.” She said it is normal, natural and necessary to mourn a loss, but that children need to learn to do it with empathy and compassion. “Grief can be lurking just around the corner,” she said.
• Pastor Santana Coronado of Marysville Apostolic Church prayed for youth. He recalled his own younger days and the challenges of trying to think on the “upside.”
• Pastor Carmen TenEyck-McDowell of the Evergreen Unitarian Universalist Church prayed for parents and grandparents. “They are not alone in their struggles.”
• Pastor John Mason of Mountain View Presbyterian Church prayed for school teachers and staff. “They had to witness things they never should have. But they’ve been able to thrive in spite of the events that day.”
• Chaplain Greg Kanehen of the Marysville Police Department prayed for first responders. He asked that they be filled with wisdom and courage, and “live in peace and love.”
• Pastor Andrew Munoz of The Grove Church prayed for leaders of Marysville, Tulalip and the school district. “The greatest healers are love and grace.” He said everyone can help others by finding out who is hurting, and who needs love, encouragement and affection. “We need to be gentle and humble in everything we do.”
• Pastor Victor Rodriguez of the Marysville Free Methodist Church prayed for hope. He said Jesus provides the best hope of all through his resurrection. “The gift of hope together we can plant.”
• Bishop Kirby Unti, representing the Church Council of Greater Seattle, prayed for other communities. He said no one could imagine such an event happening here. “So much for our innocence.” He said the community has grown closer. “You are not just a community in name.” To God, he said, “You, too, know what it feels like to have a child taken from you.”
• Marie Zackuse, a Tulalip board of director, in the closing prayer said, “Thank you for the hope only you can give.”
Also at the service, Marysville superintendent Becky Berg read the names of 15 other communities that have been victims of school shootings. A bell rang after each one. Robert “Wachadup” and Lisa Monger of the tribes performed a Drum Song with the message “bless the children of the world,” and Natosha Gobin said a prayer in the Lushootseed language. Her message was, “We are stronger together; we cannot be broken.” Four members of the Marysville Getchell High School choir sang “The Clouds” and “You Raise Me Up.”