Hurricane Sandy really motivated those more fortunate to help those hit hardest. Residents of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow have proved tireless in their volunteerism.
Now the Newtown massacre, so soon after so many are still reeling from the storm, brings more of a sense of helplessness than action as there isn't a clear way at this point to help.
Advent, explained Reverend Jeffrey Gargano at Sunday's Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns service, comes notably at the time of year of greatest darkness. With night beginning these days around 4 p.m., the season really needs tinsel and ribbons and the hope of what comes at the end of the month in the Christian faith: namely, Christ.
Last Sunday, it was the children's Christmas pagent, and the kids took over the service, singing songs, playing the robed roles of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, angels and wise men.
And certainly the audience was prouder, and more grateful for, their children than ever.
Gargano offered a timely prayer to those berieved families in Newtown that also comforted a congregation touched by grief and fear.
At Christ Episcopal Church, Rev. Susan Copley added to a Sunday sermon she had already planned about the rainbow banners that have been repeatedly stolen from the front fence.
"I spoke out in regard to the Christian moral obligation to take action for gun control, and the need to 'be our brother's and sister's keeper'," Copley said. "We idolize our private lives/private rights, when we need to cultivate community. I didn't say this in my sermon--but I do wonder--who was Adam Lanza's community, and also the support for his mother? He must have been a tormented soul. I pray my church and this community can be a place where ALL people experience that they are loved. I realize that sometimes that is not enough, and mental illness needs other treatments, but it is what we can do. The pain of the massacre last week is still so hard to take in--we pray."