A Message of Hope to the Virginia Tech Community
NEW YORK, April 20, 2007—United Methodists are responding with a message of hope for those affected by the tragedy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute earlier this week. With a grant from UMCOR coupled with matching funds, the Virginia Annual Conference will bring encouragement and healing to Blacksburg and Roanoke residents.
TV spots will be aired that are aimed specifically at helping young people cope with the tragedy at this state university. The aim is to reach those most affected and to let them know they can seek solace in any United Methodist Church where they will experience open hearts, open minds, and open doors. Funds remaining will be used to support counseling for Virginia Tech students.
"The church is uniquely equipped to help people cope with grief, anger, and bewilderment in the aftermath of such enormous tragedy," said R. Randy Day, General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries. "We are pleased to work with the Virginia Annual Conference in this important ministry."
UMCOR is prepared to assist local congregations to help members process this traumatic event in which their sense of security was destroyed and so many young lives were lost. In response to the Columbine shooting, UMCOR provided similar support to local congregations and trained Sunday school teachers to help their classes cope with the trauma.
Please continue to lift up the Virginia Tech community in your prayers, especially those families who have lost their sons and daughters, friends and neighbors.