Free ebook: A Good Word – sermons, prayers, and liturgies in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary


Download a free PDF here.

From the Introduction:

“Preachers, dig deep…”

Before I went to bed on the night of December 14, 2012, I took to Facebook and offered what I hoped was a word of encouragement to my colleagues:

Preachers: Dig deep and rely on your training. Your people need you to offer hope this Sunday. Don’t lose hope. Trust the truth of the Resurrection that we have been called to proclaim. I will pray for you fervently.

In the aftermath of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, preachers all over the United States were wondering how, exactly, they were supposed to preach joy in two days. How, exactly, were they supposed to do anything but weep?

Later, in a blog post, I wrote,

You are reeling, and you are wondering what you will say in the face of this massive tragedy because you just want to sit and cry and pray.

And that is good and natural, but, for you, that is not your calling.

You have been called to preach Hope. You have been called to preach Life. You have been called to preach Love.

The sermons, prayers, and liturgies you will find in this volume stand as a testament to the many women and men who dug deep, trusted their God, and offered the most hopeful word they could muster.

In some cases, these words are pointed and direct – even Job-like in quality. In others, there is a tenderness that places a healing balm on one’s heart. In all cases, however, these preachers responded to their communities and offered the word they knew the people they are called to serve needed to hear.

Let this collection – this archive of Christian practice – serve as an Ebenezer, that on December 16, 2012, when we were grieving and nearing despair, God was good to us, and gave us a good word to hear.

Landon Whitsitt, Archiver

17 thoughts on “Free ebook: A Good Word – sermons, prayers, and liturgies in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary

  1. Good work. I thought about doing something like this when 10a passed, as more of an historical record of the discourse at the time than a resource to use. Well done. This is interesting.

    I’m fascinated and I’m curious about your process for collection and inclusion.

    I’m in here tucked into Eric’s sermon. That’s a little startling. (Note: I happily gave him permission to use the poem, so it’s all good. I am, however, pleasantly surprised.)


    • I just put out a call for sermons and prayers that people used last Sunday. I think you need to go have a talk with Rev. Lederman… 🙂

      • He did it exactly right. (If you read this Eric, I was not complaining!!) not sure if I should mention, for future reference, the 2 n’s in Ledermann… –Wendy

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  4. Reblogged this on revgeary and commented:
    Advent 2012: The Sunday after the disgrace of Sandy Hook, churches across the country offered words of hope during dark days and an ethic of resistance to our culture of violence. I’m pleased to appear in this volume beside such friends and colleagues. May the words of these preachers help the church be the church and God’s people be agents of God’s grace. Even so, Come Sovereign Christ.

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  9. Prayers for Newtown

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