WICHITA, KANSAS -- The church where abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot to death reacted to the guilty verdict Jan. 29 in the killing by praying that houses of worship be places of peace.
"While these proceedings will obviously not bring George back, we trust in the promise of the resurrection and move forward in that hope," wrote Pastors Lowell Michelson and Kristin Neitzel of Reformation Lutheran Church in a statement. "We pray that all places of worship will be sanctuaries -- places of reconciliation, peace, and hope, setting the pace for a fractured world that so desperately seeks unity with God and one another."
Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist who declared "I shot him" during his trial, was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing Tiller on a Sunday morning at Reformation Lutheran as he ushered congregants to their pews.
The pastors of the church, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said the thoughts and prayers on its behalf since Tiller's May 31 murder "have been a source of strength for us as we navigated the process of restoration."
"Many years ago, when this cub reporter was covering religion, the first edition of a brave, feisty, independent publication called National Catholic Reporter showed up at my desk. From that day forward, NCR became my template for excellent reporting. It has become one of my trusted spiritual guides, as well."
- NCR contributor