Year of trial, grace for Newtown faith community

Christmas has returned to the heartsick village of Sandy Hook, where a school massacre one year ago overwhelmed the holiday season. Children are now performing the pageant that was canceled last year at Newtown United Methodist Church. Congregants are once again singing joyful carols outside the homes of shut-ins.

But traditions have changed to reflect a community that is at once healing and still traumatized.

The pageant hour has moved from morning to night, so as not to suggest it’s business as usual around here. Carolers no longer ride in a school bus: “That would have been too much,” says the Rev. Mel Kawakami, senior pastor at NUMC. Even accepting gifts doesn’t feel right to clergy and lay leaders this year: They’re asking for donations to local groups instead.

“It starts to feel like reclaiming Christmas,” Kawakami says. “But we wanted to be able to do something different.”

Read more of this story by G. Jeffrey MacDonald in The Christian Science Monitor.

Responding to violence


Like what you're reading?  United Methodist Communications is celebrating 80 years of ministry! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community.  Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Racism
The Rev. David Maldonado. Video image courtesy of IMU Latina (Iglesia Metodista Unida Latina) via YouTube by UM News.

Church must hear Hispanic/Latino voices

The lack of voices from Latin America represents a major gap in the global conversations occurring in The United Methodist Church.
General Church
Mark Doyal. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Conference.

Churches must adapt to historic disruption

Amid the upheavals of 2020, churches have an opportunity to embody God’s Kingdom in new ways.
Social Concerns
Anne E. Streaty Wimberly. Photo courtesy of Anne E. Streaty Wimberly

My soul cries for a peaceable family of God

Does the church as a whole really care about dismantling racism? Doing so requires us to truly love God and neighbor.