New: 3/25 TLC Now Online

St. Paul’s Church, Seattle

The March 25 edition of The Living Church is available online to registered subscribers.

In this edition, the Rev. Todd Sorenson — rector of rector of St. Gregory’s Church in Littleton, Colorado — writes about what he learned since the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999:

When a mother reported that there was an incident at Columbine High School, and I walked out of my office to see helicopters hovering over the school, I feared it was bad. Nobody was prepared for what happened on April 20, 1999. I tried calling the sheriff ’s office to see what I could do, but it was in panic mode. Four days later, we gathered all our children and youth at the altar rail, surrounded them, and laid hands on them in prayer. It was one small step toward healing. There was no guide for what to do next.

In the aftermath, we learned how a community can come together. Our suburban area lacks any civic center, so we gathered at the park adjacent to the school. We continued to gather for prayer and mutual support on the anniversary for several years after the event. We have been forever changed to be a bit kinder and more connected.

But we have also been changed, having to become more aware of what occurs around us. This is not an easy endeavor in our strangely connected society. Especially in suburbia, we tend to live in our technological castles, with a driveway for a moat and a garage door for a drawbridge. Most people cannot name all of their immediate neighbors, but we connect online. One can have 600 Facebook friends and none in the neighborhood. We have lost the era of extended families living in proximity, of neighborhoods functioning as a form of family.

Without those societal webs, it is so easy for individuals to fall through the cracks. Since Columbine, there have been 25 school shootings with fatalities and 208 school shootings overall. I recently spoke with our local public safety officer, who remarked that his son, on patrol duty for the last two years, has witnessed a further unraveling of the fabric of society in just that time: less civility on the roads, marked by more road rage, impatience, and rudeness.


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  • Mending the Fabric of America | By Todd Sorensen
  • From Hopelessness to Hope | By Matthew Townsend

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  • The Old English Rule of Saint Benedict, with Related Old English
    Review by Hannah W. Matis

Other Departments

  • Sunday’s Readings


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