He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

A little before 7 pm yesterday, there was a notification on my phone about a heavy police presence in a neighborhood just outside of Birmingham. The local news channels had teams on the scene but it wasn’t immediately clear what was going on. At the time, I was getting all my things together to join my husband for the special news coverage of the congressional hearings of the day in Washington and collecting my and Henry’s dinner to take to the den to eat with him too.

I don’t know what I was expecting to unfold – but I never imagined it would be what actually has happened.

Shortly thereafter, the news broke that there was shooting at a local church, St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Vestavia, during a Thursday night potluck dinner gathering. I often say that I am a hybrid Methodist/Episcopalian and I just cannot get my head around this. I am heartbroken and stunned.

The most recent update is that two people have died and another person is hospitalized with injuries. The shooter is in custody and the police will release more information tomorrow.

The rector and a group from the church are in Greece this week, travelling in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. Needless to say, he is now returning, having gotten this tragic news. I cannot imagine.

I don’t understand how someone can have such evil in their heart. I never will. . . and we’ve seen far too much of this hellishness recently.

I don’t know all the right things to say in the confusion and distress and pain and anxiety surrounding this either.

I do know that, as we await more information and answers, our community is covering the people of St. Stephen’s in our love and prayers.

I am so terribly sorry this has happened. You are all held.

Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Grace and Blessings.

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