To the editor:
I am not an expert on the law or on the legal system and therefore am content to leave these matters in the hands of those far more capable than I.
This morning I read Mr. Weber's comments with a level of sadness. His words are his own and do not reflect mine, my family's, or the congregation of First Baptist Church Maryville. I strongly feel that words such as Mr. Weber's should be shared in a private manner, not in the press where they can inflict harm, turmoil and added stress on those grieving such as my daughters, friends, neighbors and fellow church members.
But since they were not shared as such, I now feel the need to respond publicly and to make sure that no one confuses his thoughts and sentiments for mine. I have, from the very beginning of this case, been extremely impressed and fully satisfied with the decisions made by Bill Mudge and his staff. I know that they are capable of continuing to prosecute this case in a manner that will seek justice.
I have found that one of the most comforting aspects of what has come out of the tragic events on March 8th is that people from all walks of life, varying opinions and backgrounds have come together to express love, concern and compassion.
Loss and pain are aspects of life that can be truly uniting. In the Bible, God says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). It is my hope that we each find a way, with God's help, to bring beauty, life, and unity out of the storms we face. While that does not mean that we cannot hold to our differences or to administering justice, I have come to realize since March 8th, the utmost importance of grace, tenderness, and compassion.
It is my desire that throughout the remainder of this time of legal decision making that we collectively seek to reflect the qualities which will bring about healing and growth for all of us.
First Baptist Church