The Sunday Seminars
A Day of Critical Conversation
On September 30th, please clear your schedules and plan to be in worship, then to stay for lunch and a time of critical conversation. On December 14th, 2012, the world was shaken by the senseless murders of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Nelba Marquez-Greene and her husband, Jimmy, lost one of their two children that day. Out of that tragedy emerged the Ana Grace Project, a “program dedicated to promoting love, community and connection for every child and family through three lead initiatives: partner schools, professional development, and music & arts.” As your pastor, the question I hear most often these days is, “What can we do?” Perhaps Nelba will help us with the answer. She will be preaching during our 10:30am worship service, then staying for lunch and participating in a critical conversation about being a positive force in a world in need of Christian HOPE.
“If only a fraction of the light and joy that Ana Grace had is reflected in the work of The Ana Grace Project, then we will have succeeded. Ana Grace was a well-loved child. So is our son. But many children are not. If the young man who murdered my daughter had access to better emotional support, hope, and information- we wouldn’t even be here. And that is our goal. To keep letting others know that our programs must support the Ana Graces, the Adam Lanzas, and every child in between if we truly want to prevent violence.So this is the work we do. Every day. Violence prevention. This is our way of honoring our daughter’s life and God and setting a good example for our son. In the meantime, we are changing the lives of thousands yearly with our programs. Is it easy? No… But it is so desperately necessary in our world.
It also saves lives.
Nelba Márquez-Greene is a clinical fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and has worked in private practice, community mental health, and academic settings in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to founding The Ana Grace Project, Nelba served as the Coordinator for Klingberg Family Therapy Center’s outpatient child and adolescent psychiatric clinic and was an adjunct faculty member at Central Connecticut State University. “Love wins” is the family slogan they adopted after Ana’s senseless murder. This movement is one of increasing relational connections and is improving and saving lives. Nelba maintains an online community of over 100,000 followers and an Ana Grace Project community where people from all over the world learn, share, grow and witness love through grief. She has bravely shared bits of her life both before and after the tragedy. Behind this is the belief that not only does Love Win – it will also save lives. The Ana Grace Project has adopted classrooms in New Britain that focus on social and emotional learning. It has hosted mental health conferences and professional learning opportunities all over the country.
All are welcome…