(Editor’s Note: Cliff Stewart, pastor of First Central Presbyterian Church and president of the Abilene Association of Congregations, issued the following statement following the shooting that took place May 18 at a Texas school.)

I want to express our sadness over this morning’s shooting taking the lives of teachers and children. This shooting reminds us that such tragedy is not only a nationwide problem. It is personal. It’s in our neighborhoods. It’s in our schools. And it’s killing our children. Our hearts go out to those whose lives have been taken and to their families and friends who grieve.

CliffStewartOf course, as people of faith, we pray. In addition to praying, we are committed to keeping these weapons out of the hands of those who misuse them. Let me say something important: I don’t have answers. I have the same questions everyone has when faced with such senseless destruction. I do know there is a light that shines in the darkness…and I am confident that the darkness will not overcome it.

 No words will make sense…but I am thankful for the PRESENCE of God who is acquainted with suffering.