Story by Community Contributor Lori Barmer. Photos by Jason Darden.
Cary, NC – The bombings in Boston touched everyone in America. Even right here in our North Carolina town. At First United Methodist Church in Cary (FUMCC), students wanted to do something. But sometimes, all you can do is pray.
FUMCC has a strong, active and committed youth ministry–both locally and globally. Their acts of service have led them to Appalachia, Bolivia, Bosnia, as well as right here in Cary, with hammers, saws, books, clothing and plain old hard work.
On Sunday, April 21st, the sixth through tenth grade Sunday school classes participated in a solemn prayer walk during the usual Sunday school time.
“The prayer walk replaced our regular curriculum and served as an opportunity for our youth ministry faith community to ‘do something’ – to respond to the acts of violence that took the lives of three and left so many injured in the bombing that took place during the Boston Marathon,” said Jason Darden, High School Coordinator.
“The walk was a guided meditative time of silence and prayer, to pray for the safety of our town of Cary and for the restoration and safety of the town of Boston.”
FUMCC parents and youth ministry servants served as shepherds and acted as guides at the street crossings.
The walk began at the church; proceeded south on Academy Street, pausing for a moment to reflect in front of Cary Elementary School. “
Said Jason, “After the walk, which took us around the surrounding neighborhood, we returned to the church and assembled inside the Fellowship Hall. We listened to statements by individuals who had been injured, involved, or affected by acts of violence.”
One child said that, “it helped me to understand the suffering of others.” This was followed by a prayer to help guide the participants in the meditative reflection of the events, and to pray for those who were devastated by the bombing.
Another youth said that the prayer walk really made him aware of how vulnerable we are. “It could happen anywhere, to anybody. You don’t think about that in Cary.”
The youth ministry staff of First United Methodist Church-Cary would like to offer a special word of thanks to Officer John Reeves, the Cary Police Department Community Services Coordinator, and Town of Cary officials, for their cooperation.