Many thanks to all who are continuing to send their thoughts and prayers toward Newtown, Connecticut, where the calling hours for Principal Dawn Hochsprung are taking place as I write this.
We have a small contingent of volunteers from upstate New York consisting of myself, an elder from my church, a ministerial colleague, and a family friend of Dawn’s. We are connected with a much larger network of volunteers from all over the northeastern US organized through Facebook.
Dawn’s family have thanked us for our care and asked that we not show up outside the funeral home for her wake. Our group leaders in Newtown have requested that all out-of-town volunteers stay where they are until there is a visually confirmed presence of picketers from Westboro Baptist Church. The town itself is already over-crowded, making it difficult for families and neighbors to effectively mourn their loved ones.
I am happy to announce that, in spite of their repeated threats to picket Dawn Hochsprung’s calling hours, representatives of Westboro Baptist Church have not been seen anywhere in the state of Connecticut.
The organizers of our action are calling this a win, since our goal is (and always has been) to protect the dignity of the deceased and their families.
We continue to remain watchful for picketers, as there are still several other funerals that have yet to take place. They could still show up at any time.
Members of our local group have decided to heed the advice of the leaders in Newtown and wait until there is a visually confirmed presence of picketers before we drive down. We are ready to spring into action at any time. It’s only a four-hour drive for us, which is plenty of time for us to fit in a rousing round of “99 Bottles of Beer” on the highway…
If all continues to go well and our presence is not required, the money given by church members to support our trip will be donated to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund set up by the United Way of Western Connecticut.
Visit this website if you would like to donate as well:
I’ll say this again:
The best-case scenario is for no one from Westboro Baptist to show up in Newtown. So far, that seems to be exactly what is happening. I am grateful.