SPU community gathers for Sunday services

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by ABBEY GIBB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 8, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 8 at 7:05 PM

SEATTLE- In a community so rooted in faith, there’s no place Seattle Pacific University students would rather be than the first Sunday church service since the shooting.

‘Faith has really been at the center of it all. I can’t imagine if we didn’t have our faith what we would be doing right now,” said SPU nursing freshman.

The wounds of this tragedy have yet to heal.  It’s been four days since authorities say Aaron Ybarra, 26, fatally shot a 19-year-old SPU freshman and wounded two other young people.  Yet these students chose to pray for him, his family and all those left grieving.

“Even though this person came into our home and tried to shake us and see how we would react, we stand in God.  How we react to the shooting shows what we believe in. We believe in God here,” said Theology freshman, Kat Doutt.

Officials said Ybarra planned to kill as many people as possible and himself.  The plan only thwarted when a student building monitor—John Meis—pepper sprayed and tackled him as he reloaded. On Sunday, his older brother Chad, who before John, was the same student building monitor, spoke to his faith family.

“The city and the nation are watching how this community responds.  We can offer mercy and forgiveness in a place where there seems to only be hatred.  I hope that our community walks away from this not only seeing a tragedy but remembering this as a time of hope,” said John’s brother Chad.

A community drawn together because of the gospel.  A community strengthened by the gospel.

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