Parishioners in Aztec seek answers, unity at church
December 10, 2017 10:32 PM
AZTEC, N.M. – It's been a rollercoaster of a weekend for this small Four Corners community, following Thursday's high school shooting that killed two students and put the town of Aztec in the national spotlight.
On Saturday there was a celebration of the two teenage victims' lives, as Paco Fernandez and Casey Marquez were remembered during the annual Aztec Sparkles Parade. Then, on Sunday morning, dozens woke up and headed to church to seek answers and lean on each other for support.
"One of the ways we're a family is we carry one another's burdens. We share that with one another, and so we're not alone," said Johnathan Dobbs, minister at the Aztec Church of Christ. "So this morning we're going to spend some time talking and sharing hurts and fears, and all those things."
In prayer, the parishioners at Aztec Church of Christ found hope – hope for peace, love and unity going forward.
Together they reflected on what's happened since the tragedy; the fear of waiting to hear if their loved ones were OK; the anger of wondering why the shooting happened; and the pain that comes with knowing innocent lives were lost.
"When we trap it inside, it tends to fester. Just psychologically being able to pour out what we are holding in allows for release," Dobbs said. "Allows for comfort, and it allows for us to be able to find out we're not the only ones thinking that."
But beyond the conversation was also a call to action. Everyone was reminded of the importance of keeping their eyes open and reaching out to those who may be suffering. In this crowd, you could find parents, teachers, first responders and others of all ages and backgrounds connected to the tragedy who are filled with hope.
Updated: December 10, 2017 10:32 PM
Created: December 10, 2017 08:23 PM
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