“There have been accusations and arrests, lives have been disrupted, young lives have been permanently altered,” said La Vernia United Methodist Church Pastor Steve Curry March 28, as community members gathered in the La Vernia City Park to pray, in the wake of the arrests of a number of La Vernia High School students on charges of sexual assault.
La Vernia Ministerial Alliance pastors led prayers and reflections.
“We are imperfect creatures living in a fallen world stained by sin,” prayed the Rev. Anne Kolmeir of Christ Lutheran Church of Elm Creek. “And in this season, sin has arisen and confronted us in all its horrible reality.”
Prayers were offered for the victims, those alleged in the assaults, all their families, and for community members, the school district personnel, and law enforcement.
“Let Your presence be with all who suffer from abuse and violence. ... Make us one with you in your love for justice as we deepen our respect for the dignity of every human life,” prayed Grace Bible Church student ministry pastor Jeff Graves.
Erin Weaver of Grace Bible Church offered prayers for the victims’ families, “... Strengthen the precious bonds of family in this time of trial and draw them closer to the great family of all Your children that we may all be as one.”
Deacon Mike Drumm of St. Ann Catholic Church asked, “... Show us a future of moral strength, common decency, and holy faith.”
Participants were invited to bring messages of hope in plastic Easter eggs, placed in a basket all together, to exchange during the service.
“Take a message of hope and healing with you, a gift from a neighbor,” Pastor Curry invited. “Let us, together, grow in love for one another as we teach our children to become the precious treasures God created them to be.”
If you were unable to attend but would like a message of hope, visit the La Vernia News office, 112 E. Chihuahua St. Share your message on social media, with the hashtag #hopeandhealinglv. Pay it forward by adding a message to your egg, and leaving it where it can be found by someone else in need -- the grocery-store basket, the table at a restaurant, the library shelf, wherever you are.