Local Parishioners Mourn with Newtown

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This weekend’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has drawn more people to church. The Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Sacramento provided several churches and shopping centers with a chaplain.

More than 2,000 people filled every seat during Sunday morning services at Bayside Church in Roseville.

The influx of congregants was expected after news broke of 20 children and 6 adults being gunned down in Newtown on Friday.

“We are at a point where people are identifying with it with other tragedies they have experienced. They are kind of reliving some things as well as going through this tragedy,” said Chaplain Mindi Russell.

Russell has been on hand at all 6 Bayside services over the weekend providing counseling. She has already helped dozens of families cope with the tragedy.

“Everything we try to do is let them talk about it and encourage them with where they are at. We just encourage them and let them know they can get better instead of bitter,” said Russell.

With millions looking for answers and clarity, Bayside pastors are preaching a message of certainty.

“We have certainty and the certainty is there is still hope. there is still goodness and God still loves us,” said speaking Pastor Curt Harlow.

As parents and family of the tight nit community of Newtown stood in shock at the horror, parents here felt no different.

“I think it is a time to be grateful for your friends and your family. You really don’t know when your last day is here. I think it is time to hug one another an tell each person you love you are grateful for them,” said congregant Jason Salinas

“Really it is awful, but we can together grow through this and instead of asking what or why we can start asking what can I do with this. I want to be out there helping people,” said Russell

150 law enforcement chaplains throughout Sacramento will go to area schools on Monday to provide counseling.

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