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North Texas faith leaders preparing sermons to address Uvalde school mass shooting

Some pastors say finding the right words is a struggle. They'll be relying on faith and emotions to help guide conversations with church members.

DALLAS — Some faith leaders across North Texas are expected to be busy, planned mid-week and Sunday sermons.  

“It is very much a struggle,” said Rev. Dr. Lucretia Facen, as she sat in the sanctuary of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Dallas. 

Like some pastors, Facen is struggling to find words of comfort to pass along to church members after, yet, another school shooting tragedy in Texas.

“I think I reflect on how tired we all are of hearing this over and over again. It makes us feel powerless, in a sense. You know, the question that comes up for people of faith, why is God allowing this to happen? Where is God in all of this,” said Facen. 

Some pastors believe those questions, unfortunately, become normal responses.

People are wondering how 19 children and two adults were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The deadly shootings happened in a place that was supposed to be a community safe haven. 

At the same time, people are still processing the shooting massacre at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York that happened just days ago. In that case, a gunman targeted, shot, and killed 10 Black people.

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“It’s not even frustrating anymore. It’s just anger,” said Rev. Dr. Edgar Bazan, of New World United Methodist Church in Garland. 

He was also preparing his sermon. The pastor said it’s tough. 

“We just keep praying the same prayers. Saying the same things. At what point do we…do we change?” asked Bazan.

Processing emotions and facilitating hard, yet healthy, conversations are ways some pastors believe people can begin sharing. 

Bazan said he’ll be encouraging his members to be proactive in contributing to the wellness of children.

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”Kindness, compassion, forgiveness, justice. Looking out for the marginalized, for the poor. Really stepping into the gap for those who are suffering,” said Bazan. 

At Facen’s church, she has some ideas in mind. She’s a mother and grandmother. She’s convinced taking emotions, even anger, and mobilizing them for good can be productive. 

“It also, I think, brings to light the urgency of the matter. We cannot let this lie. We have to respond. And we have to mobilize. And I think the church has a role in that. I think we have to speak up,” said Facen. 

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