Newtown Pastor Ready To Help Town Heal

In the wake of Friday's shootings in Newtown, Conn., residents of the town are struggling to cope. Rev. Matt Crebbin of the Newtown Congregational Church tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin about the role of faith in the recovery and the message he's sharing this weekend.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This morning, religious leaders in Newtown are trying to comfort their community and grappling with their own heartache. Yesterday, we spoke with Reverend Matt Crebbin of the Newtown Congregational Church, the oldest church in the community, and he shared these thoughts.

REVEREND MATT CREBBIN: It has been, I think, just a sense of overwhelming grief and shock that this, you know, entire community has experienced. And just trying to, you know, find ways to care for one another and hold each other up in the midst of this, spiritually, physically, emotionally.

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CREBBIN: I did have members of our congregation who, both have families and children that attend the Sandy Hook School and also serve as staff there. To our knowledge, no one lost their life but, of course, were affected in dramatic ways.

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CREBBIN: I shared a scripture which comes from the Gospel of Matthew quoting Jeremiah, which is how Rachel weeps for her children. She won't be consoled because I think our grief, you know, in some sense is - for at least in these early moments - almost inconsolable. And we need that grief. If we are going to heal, we need to be able to grieve. So I want to allow people to do that.

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CREBBIN: I think that the underlying message is one that God sustains us and that God's love knows no bounds. And that even in this season, which is a season where we enter in December and to so much darkness, that we're reminded us Christians that the light shines in the midst of the darkness. The darkness does not overcome it. And there is still hope and there is still grace that are there for us.

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MARTIN: The Reverend Matt Crebbin of the Newtown Congregational Church.

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

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