Thursday evening, I had the privilege of addressing the City Council of Chardon, Ohio and presenting them with a framed picture, taken by Tri-County Bible Church following our worship service on March 4, 2012. (I’ve briefly described that service here.) In addition to giving the gift, I read the following statement:
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this evening. My name is Chris Anderson, and I am the Pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, Ohio. On behalf of Tri-County Bible Church, I want to convey to you our deep grief over the tragedy that invaded the Chardon community in late February.
On Sunday, March 4, 2012, Tri-County Bible Church dedicated its morning worship service to be a “Prayer Service for Chardon.” The Scripture commands us in Romans 12:15 to “weep with those who weep,” and it instructs us in Galatians 6:2 to “bear one another’s burdens.” As a ministry in Northeast Ohio, and with a membership that includes Chardon residents (such as Geauga County Engineer Attorney Frank Antenucci and his family), we wanted to express our solidarity with this community. To that end, almost everyone in attendance wore Chardon’s red and black. We sang praise to the all-wise, all-gracious God. We studied His word, the Bible. We prayed for the victims and their families, for the Chardon community and its leaders, for this region, and for our nation. We will continue to do so.
It is our firm conviction that the hope of the grieving and the salvation of all sinners, ourselves included, is Jesus Christ. He came to earth and lived among us. He wept with us. Most significantly, He died for us—for our sins—and He rose again from the dead. This good news, the Christian gospel, is everything to us. It is the anchor of our souls. I commend it to you.
I am glad to present this picture, taken at our Prayer Service, as a small reminder of our love and prayers. If I or the family at Tri-County Bible Church can serve this body or this community in any way, please let us know. God bless you.
Please pray for our community, which continues to hurt, though national attention has moved to other issues. And please pray for gospel advance. Grace.
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