Kingsport churches plan services in support of Newtown, Conn.

J. H. Osborne • Dec 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

KINGSPORT — Two Kingsport churches will hold services this week in memory of the children and adults slain in Newtown, Conn., last week.

Mafair United Methodist Church, Center Street, will hold “A Prayer Service for Newtown and Our Town” at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

The gathering is designed to show support for the community of Newtown as well as support and outreach for local schools, students and educators.

“This service is simply our attempt to do something of significance for Newtown and in the process, to support, encourage and pray for our town, our schools, our children,” said Rev. Kim M. Goddard. “The community is invited to attend this ecumenical service. This service is not about Mafair Church or Lincoln Elementary. It is about coming together as one community to offer prayers for another community many of us never heard of before last Friday.”

Mafair has for a few years now extended a “partnership” to nearby Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Goddard said.

It started as an appreciation lunch for the teachers and has grown to include tutoring, assistance with school activities, providing supplies, clothing, furniture, etc. and genuinely trying to be a friendly neighbor next door, Goddard said.

“At Mafair we feel like Lincoln Elementary is our school, in our community,” Goddard said. “Knowing so many of the teachers and students at Lincoln, the news of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and Sandy Hook Elementary became personal. When we started hearing reports of the tragedy in Newtown, I went to Lincoln on Friday after school just to check in with the teachers and staff and offer any support we could give.”

Scheduled speakers at Mafair on Thursday include: Dr. Daniel S. Clark, Waverly Road Presbyterian; Dr. J. Edward Clevinger, Grace Covenant; Deacon Frank Fischer, St. Dominic Catholic; Goddard; Dr. Vicki Clevinger, principal, Lincoln Elementary; and Katie Blalock, Lincoln Elementary PTO president.

Posters and cards will be available for people to sign. The posters and cards will be sent to the residents of Newtown.

Waverly Road Presbyterian Church, Waverly Road, will hold a prayer service in the sanctuary from 9 to 9:35 a.m. on Friday .

There will be scripture readings, singing and prayers offered for the victims and their families as well as acknowledgement of our own suffering and loss.

There will be a ringing of the bells at 9:30, the time when the gunman entered the elementary school.

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