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A community in pain

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Ohiophinphan, Nov 1, 2010.

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  1. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Yesterday (Sunday 10/31), I was called by a member of my congregation and given the terrible news that his sister, her husband, and her son had been murdered. I sent out some PM's for prayers last night because things had to remain a little quiet but everything is now out in the open so I make this broader post.

    It appears that the husband's son from a previous marriage murdered his father, step mother, and oldest step brother. A younger step brother had been away singing with the HS ensemble at our worship yesterday morning and missed the murder though upon returning home found the bodies! The suspected perpetrator is in custody and will be charged with three homicides.

    If this series of events were not enough, word came this morning that one of the murdered husband's sisters was killed in an appearantly unrelated house fire in an adjacent community. Now that family has to mourn the sudden loss of two children through senseless tragedies and come to grips with the reality their grandson is a multiple murderer.

    The woman and her son who were killed were members of my congregation as is the surviving son (the discoverer) and most of her extended family. Her Dad has a serious case of Altzheimer's disease and is unaware of what has happened. I have never found a reason to be happy someone has that dreaded disease until now.

    The husband and his sister have no known church homes and thus we might be hosting up to all four of the funerals together.

    Your prayers for the families (and selfishly for me and my associate as we try to aid the families navigate these waters) would be greatly appreciated.

    I hope to use this thread as a sort of blog to help me vent some of the trauma of these events. Thank you in advance for reading the reports I will post.

    We met with the family today and got started on the planning of a funeral. It will be here at the building, in part because that is the families' wish and also because the funeral home could not hold all the folks. Ours is one of the largest public spaces in the central portion of our rural county.

    The county is so small and unsophisticated in these matters that yesterday (10/31) was the year's first murder. There had been a single shooting in '09 but otherwise it had been 9 years since the last one prior to that.
     
  2. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    As a sometimes antagonist to you on these boards, I can say in all honesty, this family couldn't be in better hands than yours. Stay strong and I hope your faith and your own insight will provide what you need to be the light house in that family's unthinkable time of need.
     
    Tone_E, Boik14, dolphindebby and 2 others like this.
  3. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thank you, thank you very much. Your words are very humbling.
     
  4. dolphindebby

    dolphindebby Season Ticket Holder Luxury Box

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    Pastor, you know my heart goes out to you as you go through this with this poor family.

    May the Lord strengthen and bless each and every one of them.
    And may He give you the wisdom and strength to guide all of them.

    Their all in good hand having you there. God Bless You!
     
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  5. eric

    eric New Member

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    thats such a horrible story for that kid.
     
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  6. HolliFinFan

    HolliFinFan Not a Face Painter Luxury Box

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    Just horrible news, Pastor. Rural, urban, residential, etc., I always read such accounts with sadness. I do not understand why such horrific events occur, but I am thankful that you will guide this survivor and his remaining family. Vent here anytime. Lots of people care about others even if the news does not affect us directly. There but for the grace of God go I.
     
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  7. azfinfanmang

    azfinfanmang Premium Member Luxury Box

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    Wow!
    Really a tragedy...or actually several tragedies.
    The people involved are fortunate to have you brother Keith.

    Prayers from here!
     
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  8. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    I am terribly sorry to read such a story Pastor. This is exactly why I don't watch the news... too depressing to read stuff like this.

    I agree with Fin D that the family is in great hands. Prayers for them bro.
     
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  9. OhioPhin

    OhioPhin Just Getting Started

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    Sorry to hear this Ohiophinphan. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the families affected by these tragedies.
     
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  10. Tone_E

    Tone_E Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    My sincerest condolences. That is a terrible tragedy.

    You have to stay strong for their sake, but I know you can do it.
     
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  11. RickyBobby

    RickyBobby VIP DIY

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    Stuff like this always makes you stop and think. You are doing a great thing in helping the family get through this. Thank you
     
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  12. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thanks again, everyone. The funeral is at 11 this morning. It will be for the three murder victims only. The preperation has gone well and the three differant families have blended together better than I expected. I guess intense loss does that. The sermon was as hard a set of 1000 words, I have ever written.
     
  13. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    The service is over. We had over 500 people in attendance at the service and over 300 stayed for a fellowship meal afterwards. When you consider Oak Harbor has less than 3000 resdients you get a picture of the impact.

    It went very well. The families shared their grief and loss with each other and bonded well. The work of the funeral directors, our staff from here and finally God working through the service did the task we were called upon to do. That is to bring thoughts of Hope and Resurrection as well as to show dignity and respect for the folks who had been murdered.

    In the midst of it all, it was a good day!
     
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  14. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    I don't want to congratulate you, because that would seem incredibly insensitive considering the events, but I'm very glad you were and provided, what that poor family needed.
     
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  15. dolphindebby

    dolphindebby Season Ticket Holder Luxury Box

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    Bless you Pastor Keith.
    I'm sure they are all grateful for the wisdom and comfort you bring them..
     
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  16. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thank you both and indeed all the rest of you folks who have read this thread. I believe the families felt the love and concern of the community through what we did.

    What I had to do was very hard but it is also very humbling to be in a place where the community speaks its concern through you.

    The Gospel was proclaimed and God's love was spoken. I continue to pray and work for the families' comfort. You folks have been an important part of the support system that lets me do that!

    Thanks again.
     
    dolphindebby and Fin D like this.

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