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Church serves as cornerstone in the wake of tragedy

Members of Newtown United Methodist Church in Sandy Hook, Conn., are “still holding our breath” to learn the full impact of the Dec. 14 shooting at nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School, said the Rev. Mel Kawakami, the church’s senior pastor.

“We’re trying to keep our lines open,” he said. “We have already tried to reach out. We have communications circles that are trying to canvass our congregation.”

At least 27 are dead, including 18 children, according to the most recent news reports, in what is already one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. The shooting came less than a week after a gunman killed two holiday shoppers across the country at an Oregon mall.

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