The Suburbanite
  • Heritage students find comfort in prayer

  • Heritage Christian students Tuesday wore green and white, the school colors of Sandy Hook Elementary, and made hand-written cards for the families of shooting victims.

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  • Rachel Schukert finds comfort in the 23rd Psalm.
    The 13-year-old Heritage Christian student lost her grandfather in March and her eyes still well with tears when she speaks about how much she misses him.
    She hopes the verse, which reads, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want,” will bring some measure of comfort to the family of Lauren Rousseau, 30, of Danbury, Conn., a substitute teacher killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.
    Like the other members of her seventh grade Bible class, Rachel chose one of the Connecticut shooting victims for whom to pray and is sending a hand-written sympathy card to the family.
    “This verse really helped me when my grandfather died,” said Rachel, adding, “God leads you. Everything is for a reason.”
    Tuesday morning, following the morning prayer, her class worked on their cards.
    Teacher Amber Kasler said she initially had not planned to discuss the shootings with her class.
    “But, the whole class wanted to talk about it,” said Kasler. “They put themselves in the place of those parents. This class is so mature in this way.”
    Their empathy was apparent in their words and solemn demeanor as they searched for the words to write.
    “I feel really sad about what happened and I wish I could help the families in some way,” said Luke Nowak. “I want to help give them strength to help them fight through the pain.”
    The Heritage eighth-grade Bible class also made cards. Teacher Karen Croston, who was leading the class Tuesday, said they wre writing messages of hope with an uplifting scripture.
    Jordan Harris searched his Bible for a verse in Romans.
    “It says, ‘All things work for the good of those who serve Christ,’ ” the 14-year-old recited.
    Harris said he felt sad as he made his card for the family of Grace McDonnell, 7.
    “I can’t imagine if that was any of my younger siblings,” he said.
    The school’s lead secondary school teacher, Karla Robinson, said administrators discussed over the weekend how they would handle Monday’s return to school.
    It had been previously planned that teachers would share Christmas memories at the morning prayer circle, which is attended by about 100 middle and high school students.
    “We said, ‘Look how life can change so suddenly and how important those memories are. Cherish them,’ ” said Robinson.
    Then they prayed for the victims.
    “I’m glad we are at a school where we can do that, first thing,” said Robinson, who said the incident has affected everyone.
    “For the first time in my career, I’m afraid to be a leader. You want to make the right choices,” she said.

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