Beyond Prayer: A call-to-action in the wake of mass shootings and terrorism

On the 17th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting in Colorado, Melissa Helmbrecht addressed students, faculty, and staff at Eastern University, calling us to meaningful action in the wake of global violence. We encourage you to listen to her deeply moving talk at the link below.


During April 2007, the community gathers together at a Virginia Tech vigil.  Courtesy of Brett Weinstein [Creative Commons]

The outbreak of mass shootings and the spread of terrorism (both domestic and international) create waves of powerlessness and concern around the world. In her talk Helmbrecht shares what she has learned over the course of a decade working directly with survivors and communities in the wake of unexpected violence perpetrated on civilian populations. All of us want and need to do something, but what? In addition to discussing large-scale initiatives,  Helmbrecht explores the role that each individual can play personally and locally to transform helplessness into hope.

Melissa Helmbrecht, JD, is Senior Advisor to the Board and Ministries Specialist at the Sider Center. In 2003, Melissa became the youngest woman ever to run for Congress in the USA when she ran for Virginia's 8th District. She has been the founder, co-founder, executive director, or CEO of several successful nonprofit and for-profit organizations, including the Caring Institute, the Youth Investment Project (for which she was named "one of six most promising social entrepreneurs in America" by Youth Service America), Camden's Promise Charter School, Champions of Hope, and Splashlife (the AARP for young Americans). Melissa connects the Sider Center to friends and foundations who want to support our particular mission and vision for bringing Christ's radical love to the whole world.

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1 Response

  1. Jim says:

    A call to action is a beautiful thing. Or rather can be. It depends on who is doing the calling.

    If the call is generated and motivated by the flesh (even in the disguise of good works), it will end up in frustration and ultimately failure. As God says, "your good deeds are like filthy rags"'. God makes a mockery of our feeble efforts. Of course that is His kindness to lead us to the Source and to repentance.

    Heed the call. Just make sure we are listening to who is doing the calling.

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