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Working for healing and wholeness?

From Facebook posts to news accounts to candlelight vigils, the people of our country have come together over the horror that took place Friday morning in Newtown, Conn. And rightly so. Condolences have been expressed by world leaders. The unspeakable killings of innocent children and teachers have deeply touched people here and around the world.

I remember similar outpourings following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. But I also remember the words of an international guest at our 2002 triennial gathering. She respectfully told the women gathered there that while she grieved along with us in America when those horrible events unfolded, she and the people in her country–and in many countries around the globe–experienced similar horrors daily. And the same is true regarding children dying.

It is calculated that today around 21,000 children will die because of poverty, malnutrition or disease. Children around the world are the innocent victims of war. UNICEF reported in 1996 that 2 million children were killed in war in the previous decade and another 4-5 million disabled. Whether or not those statistics have changed in recent years, any innocent life lost in war is just as unconscionable as the death of 20 children and their six teachers.

As Women of the ELCA we commit ourselves to bring about healing and wholeness in the church, the society and the world. Will the shootings in Newtown move us beyond platitudes to seriously work for such healing and wholeness, for the benefit of all of God’s children around the world?

Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director of Women of the ELCA.

Comments (5)
Julie McCarty says:
Dec 17, 2012

Thank you for reminding us about the big picture of children who suffer around the world–and encouraging us to do something about it. We all need to work for peace.

Linda Post Bushkofsky says:
Dec 17, 2012

I wrote this blog post shortly before driving into the office this morning. On that drive, while listening to the news on National Public Radio, I learned that at least nine young girls were killed in a landmine explosion while collecting firewood. At least three more were injured. I grieve for their lives cut short, just as I grieve for the 20 children of Newtown. The killings, the deaths must stop. And we must be part of the solution. I don’t know what that will look like yet, but I know we are called to be part of that solution.


Susan Purviance says:
Dec 18, 2012

Gun and ammo access in my state, and perhaps yours, is too lenient, and mental health outreach to families in need of support is a proper activity for WELCAs. Let those of us who work to reduce gun violence, misuse, and accidents reach out to one another and
form a work group together in WELCA. My contact is:


Roxanna says:
Feb 15, 2013

Now we know who the snesbile one is here. Great post!

Barb says:
Dec 14, 2015

So much more to do.

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