The Uvalde Ministerial Alliance is calling for churches across Texas to take part in a day of prayer, “Prayers from the Pews,” on Sunday, September 4. This day of prayer will focus on the families, children and community in Uvalde as they prepare for the district’s first day of school on September 6. Texas Baptists churches are encouraged to take part in this opportunity to lift up the Uvalde community.
The Uvalde Ministerial Alliance is composed of 21 churches of various denominations located in the Uvalde area. It was formed in response to the shooting on May 24, 2022, where 19 students and two teachers were fatally shot at Robb Elementary School. The Alliance seeks to help local churches as they support their grieving community.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District delayed the first day of school to September 6. As students and teachers prepare to return to school, worries over safety, grief and student development remain.
“The Alliance is urging churches to pray for the people that are grieving. It’s a process, and the whole city [was affected],” Rolando Rodriguez, director of Texas Baptists en Español, said. He emphasized that families who were directly affected will need particularly high levels of support during this time.
Texas Baptists churches and ministry staff have been actively involved in responding to the shooting. On the day of the attack, Area Representative Joe Aguilar and TBM chaplains arrived on the scene and prayed with families and law enforcement officers. Rolando Rodriguez, director of Texas Baptists en Español, has been involved in planning long-term care strategies with local Uvalde churches. Most recently, Executive Director David Hardage met with pastors and church leaders to discuss how Texas Baptists can continue best supporting the churches and community.
The Alliance is hoping churches will join them in praying for all of the families affected, as well as the children returning to school, many of whom are frightened to return and question how safe they will be at their schools. Churches can also pray for the Uvalde authorities as they make decisions, particularly those regarding safety and security.
Carlos Gutierrez, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Uvalde, agreed, saying only God can bring healing to their community.
“There are so many things that we as human beings cannot do, that we cannot accomplish. In fact, we rely totally on God to get through so many things, and there are so many things that only God can do for the church, for our communities, for the families,” Gutierrez said.