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Chuch leaders discuss how they will address the Texas shootings at services this weekend

Posted at 7:39 AM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 13:28:40-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The phrase "thoughts and prayers" is something people across the world have heard this week after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Local religious leaders say while prayer is crucial during this time, it needs to be attached to action.

"Prayers aren’t going to change anything itself," Steve Keplinger, the rector at Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, said. "Prayers need to be attached to action.”

He said prayer is powerful during this time because it brings the community together. This Sunday, the topic of gun violence and the school shooting will be the main subject of the sermon and Keplinger said they'll lament and pray together.

"As the we go to the next news cycle, which we do in this country, that we stay focused on this," he said. "So my goal in the midst of this issue is that we stay focus on this forever."

In many churches across the state, this topic won't leave the pulpit anytime soon. At St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church, Reverend Taylor Devine said they are opening a fund to donate money to the families in Uvalde. Devine said they'll have a 10 a.m. forum for the community to talk about gun violence and how to move forward.

"And that’s going to be some conversation about how we will get involved to make this a more safe community, safe for people to go to school and worship," she said.

The fund can be found on St. Philips in the Hills website at

Tina Giuliano is a reporter for KGUN 9. She is a native Arizonan and grew up in Scottsdale. Tina is passionate about storytelling and is excited to work telling Tucson's stories. Share your story ideas and important issues with Tina by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.