People across the country are asked to light a candle tonight, April 20, between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. in their time zone to remember the victims and families of those killed in Nova Scotia just two days ago.
In his video message to the church and the country, Moderator Richard Bott says simply, “There are times that there are no words.” This is one of those times. He offers a prayer and urges everyone to light a candle, take a picture, and post it to social media (#light4NovaScotia) and share with friends.
Close to the many crime scenes, the Rev. Penny Nelson, minister at Tatamagouche Pastoral Charge, adds, “People and communities across our province have been devastated by the deaths of the shootings this weekend. Our hearts long to be together to comfort and mourn. Even though we cannot gather physically, we can gather our hearts together, and we can still hold vigil with all who are grieving. May these lights remind us that we are not alone, that love surrounds us and will carry us through.”
In a personal reflection, the Rev. Ruth Noble, the United Church’s Mission & Service Engagement Co-ordinator in Toronto, writes about her friend at Berwick Camp, Lisa McCully, one of the victims. “Berwick has been part of people’s lives for generations. Lisa and her sister and family grew up at Berwick, and now their children are part of the Berwick fabric of life. As I write this, I am surrounded by the scent of a candle that I bought in Berwick that has a gemstone in it. The scent reminds me of camp, and the hidden gemstone gives me hope for a way forward through the shock and grief that we all feel.”
An online prayer vigil is being planned for Wednesday, April 22, at 2:00 p.m. Atlantic time. Details will be posted on the United Church’s Facebook page.