Area residents focus on music as a source of healing following shooting

Hamil R. Harris The Washington Post Young people at University Park Church of Christ singing during “Teen Worship Away,” a … Continued

Hamil R. Harris

The Washington Post

Young people at University Park Church of Christ singing during “Teen Worship Away,” a monthly event for teenagers from various Church of Christ congregations.

The flags were flying at half mast outside Lanham Christian School Monday where faculty and students joined with people across the nation to remember the school children and others who died in Newtown, Conn.

In addition to prayers and scripture, music teacher Sherry Bell also found strength at the piano as she played a hymn that often calls on when she is going through a trial: “Great Is thy Faithfulness.”

“God is faithful in every situation,” Bell said. “A lot of time we see evil in the world and we say why did God allow this to happen instead of seeing God as an instrument in these situations where he is the once source that is comforting. “

“God didn’t cause the evil. He is the solace for the evil that happened. We should be praising him to say without him we don’t have hope,” she said at the Maryland school. “That is what we really need to be focusing on.”

On Sunday, the music was flowing across Prince George’s County from the Refreshing Spring Church of God In Christ in Riverdale to the University Park Church of Christ in Hyattsville, which hosted a monthly event for teenagers from different local congregations.

Terrill Hall, a music director at Refreshing Spring, said, “In light of what is happening today it is important that families stick together and understand the power of gospel music. Music has a way of healing like words can’t and when we worship him he takes care of everything else.”

On Sunday night, a capella ensemble Autumn from Rochester College, a Christian college in Michigan, performed during a youth rally at University Park Church of Christ.

Jaylon Seawight, a Rochester student who sings tenor, said in times like these young people of faith have to work hard to help those who are struggling before they make bad decisions.

“A young person’s mind is like a blank sheet of paper and if you attack it early you can have an impact on their lives,” said the 20-year-old.

At Lanham Christian School, 15-year-old Christian Bailey said she says active in her family church, Key to Heaven Kingdom Ministries in Upper Marlboro, to stay focused. She also likes to sing.

“I listen to music when I am happy. I listen when I am sad. Music helps me get through a long day,” she said.

Related content on On Faith:

* Thistlethwaite: Obama gives voice to the new national determination on gun control

* National Cathedral dean: ‘… the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby’

* Graham: Why the shock and awe?

* Huckabee: Sandy Hook shooting not surprising after God ‘removed from our schools’

* Wintz: Quit using ‘loss’ when referring to death

* Pace: Comfort the grieving

* Stanley: In tragedy we grieve; in God, we hope

* Quinn: Where was God?

* Kaur: Journey from Oak Creek to Newtown

* Hirschfield: In wake of Newtown massacre, love more important than explanations

* Thistlethwaite:God weeps: 27 children, staff killed in Conn. school shooting

* Md. pastors were searching for solutions even before mass shooting

* Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting shocks a nation

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