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After shooting, pastors seek words of wisdom

GREENLAND - Bethany Church Executive Pastor Dirk Rogers said he knows there are no words to ease the pain and suffering of his congregation right now.

But he and other spiritual leaders tried to provide some words Sunday morning to help worshippers come to terms with the tragedy that befell their community Thursday night.

Rogers lives just one mile from the Post Road home where Greenland Police Chief Mike Maloney, 48, was shot and killed by Cullen Mutrie, 29. Mutrie wounded four other officers, including two who remain at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

Mutrie later shot and killed his girlfriend, Brittany Tibbetts, 26, and himself.

'I realize in times like this, words are not enough,' Rogers said. 'But I want to give people some sort of handles to get their life perspective back.'

The message was just what Greenland Central School teacher Beth Sommers needed to hear. Sommers, the curriculum integration and extended learning coordinator for the school, said she had been struggling with what to tell the children when everyone returns to school today.

'I think our role is to support our kids, to love them, to be there for them; while there is evil, like Pastor Dirk said, there is a lot more good,' she said. 'My role as a teacher is to continue to do my best role-modeling, being kind, respectful and good and helping the kids be the best people they can be.'

Rogers said it is important for the community to come together. He encouraged his congregation to put yellow lilies at the end of their driveways Thursday, when Chief Maloney will be honored during a noon memorial service at Winnacunnet High School.

'What we experienced this week was a terrible tragedy. What would be worse is going on like nothing happened,' Rogers said. 'This should be a wake-up call to all of us.'

The shooting was mentioned in other Sunday services around the state.

At St. Catherine of Sienna Roman Catholic Church in Manchester, where Attorney General Michael Delaney is a communicant, Rev. Paul Montminy asked parishioners to include Delaney and law enforcers in their prayers.

'If anyone has had a tough couple of years,' Montminy said, 'it's Mike.'


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