By Chris Marchand
Some members of Dryden’s Christian community gathered in prayer last week for victims and the families of the Jan. 29 shooting. at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City which claimed six lives and left 19 injured.
A collaboration between First United’s Rev. Erin McIntyre Garrick and St. Luke’s Anglican’s Father Dick Kennedy, the service offered a chance to reflect on the senseless act and stand in spiritual solidarity with those who were attacked during a time of prayer. Thirty-five people attended the service.
“In the beginning I felt helpless,” said Father Dick Kennedy. “Both with what’s been going on in the States over the past week and then with the shooting in Quebec City. I knew we had to do something and I was so thankful that Erin came along and said, ‘we need to do something’, because I didn’t know what to do.”
“I felt helpless, I felt rage, I was angry at what happened — what’s been happening,” said Erin McIntyre-Garrick. “As people of faith, what can we do but pray? I thought that this was a great chance for people of all faiths in Dryden to get together, offer prayers and make space for those who have been killed and hurt.”
McIntyre-Garrick was a highschool student in nearby Lethbridge during the school shooting in Taber, AB in 1999. She says when events that are beyond understanding occur, group settings can provide a place to seek some meaningful way to process the tragedy.
“From those experiences I know that it’s good to gather and to be together.”
A letter of support, signed by those in attendance, was sent to The Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec following the service.
“Just to give them a tangible thing — something in writing, something solid that the people in Quebec City can see and handle and find out that there are people in the rest of the country that are supporting them,” said Kennedy. “It’s all fine for us to get together and pray, but I want the