This morning, I dropped my son off at his public school high school. I felt peace about leaving him in a place that though large, feels safe. I know that this is not the experience of every mother in our land this morning, and from my Facebook friends and Twitter feed, I know that our teachers are not feeling as safe as I am on this morning.
One of the privileges of working in a faith-based institution is that we can answer the call to prayer at any moment with full confidence that we are not violating anyone’s faith or trust. So this morning, I pray for all of our teachers in public schools. I think of the incredible teachers that my son has known, Lori, Patti, Denise, Darlene, and instructional coaches who worked in his elementary school Christy and Jenny. I pray for the elementary principal that he loved, Kathy, and the front desk assistant, Helen, who always greeted us with her warm smile. I pray for all of the child care workers, kitchen and custodial staff, and parent volunteers – like our friend Bob who headed up the school patrol team – who head out to school today. And prayers for my students who are leading learning in many school around this area, and for my friends from my first love, WW, may you lead and love well today! I pray that all will find the strength to be who they are and to have the reserve to be who the students need for them to be on this day. I pray for the school leaders who will sort out the rest of the details about getting Sandy Hook elementary back on track. The superintendent who has the dual work of comforting as well as supporting the return to school when the time is right. May she be filled with the grace that is needed for both roles. I pray for the mothers and fathers who send their children to school that they may trust that the day will bring important conversations, and more chances to hug their loved ones at the end of the day.
Here are a few resources: From Max Lucado via the Huffington Post A Christmas Prayer
For those of us who love and lead teachers, may the wisdom to make wise choices be fluid today and every day as the well-worn paths in our school seem strange on this morning after the unthinkable has occurred. Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” And while there is no joy in the event that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary, our schools are filled with JOY this morning as the children of our nation return to school. Hopeful, looking to the adults in their lives for the solace of a day filled with familiar routines and new learning. May they continue to be comforted as their lives stretch forward. May we all remember to pray for the families of all of those who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook incident as they continue to sort out their lives.
Via the Martinez Foundation: Helping Children Cope in a Crisis
Prayers from the Presbytery
Prayer for Hope
Almighty God, I beg you to grant me the gift of hope.
My life is dark and full of sorrow. There seems nothing to look forward to but sadness.
Show me that life has duties and many pleasures still waiting for me.
Revive within me the desire to live.
Plant hope in my heart, that despair may vanish as the dew before the sun.
I know all good things come from you, and you have promised to give them
to your children who try to serve you.
Let the hope of happiness in the world, come to brighten my way.
I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Prayer for Peace
In your perfect realm no sword is drawn
But the sword of righteousness,
And there is no strength but the strength of love.
So mightily spread aboard your Spirit,
That all peoples may be gathered
Under the banner of the Prince of Peace,
As your children,
To you be dominion and glory,
Now and forever. AMEN
Resources via AERA:
1. A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope, from the National Association of School Psychologists (http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/terror_general.aspx).
2. Talking to Children About Violence, National Association of School Psychologists (http://www.nasponline.org/resources/handouts/revisedPDFs/talkingviolence.pdf)
3. Listen, Protect and Connect: Psychological First Aid for Teachers and Schools (http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/PFA_SchoolCrisis.pdf)