Celebration Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Chardon, Ohio, is providing a safe place for teenagers to gather following a Feb. 27 shooting at a local high school. According to news reports, witnesses say the alleged shooter shot five people in the school’s cafeteria. Three students have died.
According to the Rev. Laura Barbins, pastor of Celebration, classes at the high school are scheduled to resume Friday. In the meantime, “We’re offering our church building as a safe place for students to gather and process what happened. No parents are allowed,” she said.
Barbins said the congregation gathered for prayer on the day of the shooting and will participate in a Feb. 28 ecumenical service at St. Mary Catholic Church in Chardon at 7:00 p.m. (EST). While the victims and the alleged shooter are not members of Celebration, “Our members know their families,” said Barbins. “Chardon is a small community, and we know one another.”