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Tributes pour in for victims of Nashville Christian school shooting

by Donna Birrell
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Church leaders across the world are paying tribute to the victims of a shooting at a Christian school in the United States.

Three pupils aged eight and nine and three adults, including the head teacher, were killed by 28-year-old former pupil Audrey Hale who was transgender.

Vigils for the six victims have been held in Nashville after the shooting, with mourners gathering at a church nearby to pay their respects.

Among the tributes on social media, singer-songwriter Keith Getty whose own church is three miles from the site of the shooting drew strength from Psalm 69. 

He posted: "Today tears have flowed, our minds numb with shock and hearts heavy with grief. We are heart. Broken for our friends at Covenant school and church and their Senior Pastor Chad Scruggs. We had hard and unchartered conversations with our children about the tragic shooting that happened so close to their school. Our community is grieving.

"Just yesterday we visited the new Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Seminary. I spent a few quiet moments with Spurgeon's hymnal Our Own Hymnbook'. I was drawn to the category of praying for our children, singing together our earnest prayers for these precious ones. And I took a photograph of this hymn written by Thomas Hastings.

"1 would struggle to sing these words today. Yet here they are. True. Pleading prayers in 1834 and pleading still in 2023. Please pray as we mourn for our beautiful Nashville, particularly for the children."

The Covenant School in Nashville has released a statement following the deaths.

"Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing," the school has said.

It continued: "Law enforcement is conducting its investigation, and while we understand there is a lot of interest and there will be a lot of discussion about and speculation surrounding what happened, we will continue to prioritise the well-being of our community."

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