Six years ago:
* I had been ordained one year
* I had just left large wealthy resource parish to become solo pastor of small fractious church
* I had been solo pastor for exactly six weeks
* My daughter left early for school (8th grade)
* My husband called me from work to see if I was watching the news (no)
* Our son was just about to get on the bus, literally. So, off he went. Had it been a few minutes later I would have kept him home.
* The schools went on lock-down. The kids knew little or nothing.
* I began a phone tree to every member of the parish inviting them to a prayer vigil that night.
* We gathered. We prayed. We celebrate the Eucharist. We wept. We felt gleamed hope from being together. My homily that night reflected on the randomness of evil and the hopefulness of God's faithfulness - God always comes into the midst of chaos and seeks to restore life, order, new life, hope....
* It was an auspicious start to a challenging call.