The lawn of Christ Episcopal Church in Indiana, Pennsylvania, hosts two sets of crosses today. On one side of the entrance are crosses representing victims of the recent supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York. Each cross, other than the one in front, carries the name of a person killed on May 14. The cross in front says “Buffalo, NY.”
Sadly, on the opposite side of the church entrance is a larger collection of crosses. These carry the names of the victims, mostly children, killed in the Texas elementary school massacre. The forwardmost cross says “Uvalde, TX.”
The crosses were conceived and executed by the church’s Oremus Prayer Group. It is surprising—it shouldn’t be, of course—that a field of crosses makes a stronger impression on the mind than does a simple cardinal number communicating the same quantity of lives cut short.
Our local church is not one given to public displays, but I happily endorse this one. Also, I have more than once suggested that our rector incorporate more social commentary into his sermons, which typically more resemble Bible studies than powerful messages to the faithful. Today, however, he decried gun culture in his sermon and prayed for the dead in Buffalo and Uvalde by name.
Perhaps recent massacres have shaken the people of America more than usual. It is to be hoped that thoughts and prayers will no longer be enough. It remains to be seen whether any significant actions will follow.