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Reverend speaks of lights of hope in darkness in Newtown

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Church goers attended a solemn Christmas service on Sunday in the town of Newtown, Connecticut where mourning has replaced the holiday spirit following the deaths of 26 people at a school shooting. The morning sermon addressed the horrific event but focused on healing during a time of enormous grief. "There is darkness in the world. And yet that light will come that no darkness will ever extinguish. And we know that for sure right now. Darkness came. But in the midst of that darkness there have been gifts of light that have given us hope and widened our faith. People that have never met stopped to chat and end up hugging. I have seen deep care and love for others in this town this week that I have never seen before. Every family who has suffered such incredible loss, has been embraced and upheld by family, friends and strangers, many of whom are now friends for life," said Rev. Kathleen Adams-Shepherd of Trinity Episcopal Church, addressing the congregation. This largely Christian town was shaken on the morning of December 14, when a 20-year-old gunman armed with a military-style assault rifle shot dead 20 children aged 6 and 7 and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It was the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Little is known about the shooter, Adam Lanza, who also killed his mother before the rampage and later himself, putting the death toll at 28 in a tragedy that has revitalized the debate over U.S. gun control laws. The sadness has moved some to act. Makeshift monuments to the dead have popped up all over town, funds have been raised, and many visitors have made a pilgrimage to Newtown, offering support.

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