From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
CHILDREN'S LETTERS DEMONSTRATE CONNECTIONALISM
05 May 1996 13:16:52
95204 CHILDREN'S LETTERS DEMONSTRATE CONNECTIONALISM
by Alexa Smith
OKLAHOMA CITY--Much of the emotion felt about the bombing of the Alfred P.
Murrah Federal Building is written on paper.
But it is not in memos or in organized research. It is found in the
letters of children from all over the country who put their feelings onto
paper -- in crayon or ink or pencil.
"The children's drawings and letters of concern are so refreshing,"
says Carolyn Stephens, executive presbyter for Indian Nations Presbytery,
whose office served as a conduit for letters to the injured, to survivors
or to church members at large.
"This has brought the connectional nature of the Presbyterian Church
to life," she said. "We use words like 'connectional' and we know in our
heads there are Presbyterian churches like ours all across the country. ...
"But now people know in their hearts."
From Hill Road, Pennsylvania:
"My name is Mandy. I'm 9 years old and I'm in fourth grade. I'm
sorry about what happened in Oklahoma City. I'm at church right now and we
prayed for you. I hope you're not hurt badly and I'm glad that you caught
the guy that blew up the building.
From Athens, Georgia:
"My name is Arielle. ... I'm in second grade at Whitehead Elemtary. I
hope you did not get injured. But if you [did] I'm hoping for you to get
much, much, much better. Wen I heard somebody set a bomb on your building,
I started crying because I know how hard it is to see that many people
"Love, Your friend, Arielle."
And from Rachel in Athens:
"My name is Rachel ... and I go to Whitehead Elementry in Athens, Ga.
I'm sorry about what happened in the Oklahoma bombing. I have been keeping
up with the news. I hered the front of the building fell down. I'm not so
shore about how many people died in Oklahoma City. I don't think I no how
many people liked ether but I do no that those men who did it are wered.
From Eric, Sasha and Amanda:
"Dear Oklahoma friends,
"We are deeply sorry about the bomb. I hope that you are safe and
feeling love right now. If you are not just know that we love you.
"Love, Eric, Sasha and Amanda"
Or, from Daniel, who says:
"Dear Children of Oklahoma,
"I'm sorry that you got bombed. We are going to plant bulbs for the
kids that died. I'm 7 years old. I have three fish.
Another child writes:
"I'm so sorry that you were hurt. Those people had no resin to do
that. I will pray for you and with all my strength I will pray for the
people that did this to you."
Stephens said a number of letters are now being shared with Indian
Nations parishes outside the city limits, many of whom were affected by the
bombing but were not directly reaping the benefits of the church's concern.
That concern was summarized in a series of notes written by a New York
congregation on a rolled sheet of wallpaper. Amid the poems, notes and
drawings on the sheaf were the words of the church's minister:
"Our city is remembering your city. We are all connected to each
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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