Tabernash church opens doors for a day of interfaith grieving |

Tabernash church opens doors for a day of interfaith grieving

A station set up to mourn the victims of attacks in Las Vegas, New York, Sutherland Springs and Thornton. Sawyer D'Argonne/Sky-Hi News.

Open hearts, open minds and open arms. That’s the mission of the Church of the Eternal Hills in Tabernash, which opened it’s doors on Friday for an interfaith day of prayer and meditation, inviting residents of all beliefs into the sanctuary to reflect on recent tragedies across the country.

“Within the first couple days after the Texas shooting I had people coming into my office crying, heartbroken and uncertain what to do or where to find help,” said Pastor Paula Steinbacher. “So I thought maybe the community just needs a space to gather and lament.”

The church set up self-guided prayer stations, ways to creatively express your feelings toward towards acts of violence and clergy available to help lead prayers or meditation. The church also designated a corner of the sanctuary for paying respects to the victims of attacks in Las Vegas, New York, Sutherland Springs and Thornton; allowing visitors to light candles in front of their names.

Steinbacher said it was important to her to open the church for people of all beliefs, and that the day was meant to help those struggling to cope with the attacks to heal, and not necessarily from a religious perspective.

“It’s important to me because a lot of the work I do personally in my calling is reaching out to people who have been wounded by churches that have exclusionary practices,” she said. “Because that’s never been a message to the church, and somehow it got misinterpreted along the way.

“People have been very thankful to have the opportunity. Sometimes just knowing that somebody is doing something makes them feel better. Knowing somebody’s trying to do something. Because doesn’t it feel like we’re all a little helpless right now?”

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