In the aftermath of the Toronto van attack on April 23rd, Tyndale University College & Seminary extend our heartfelt prayers and support for the victims, their families, and the city. With longstanding roots in the GTA, the Tyndale community feels deeply affected by this violent act that ended with so many lives lost, families and loved ones grieving, along with many injured.
In the midst of the mourning and feelings of uncertainty in this difficult time, local citizens are choosing to stand in solidarity with one another. Jesse James [MDiv 2019] works with Youth Unlimited to reach out to the Willowdale community in Toronto where this tragedy took place. He rallied fellow faith leaders together to determine how best to serve the spiritual needs of the community. They held a prayer vigil, a prayer walk and are set to play music at 1:30 pm every day for twenty-five days at Olive Square Park. This represents one day for each of the victims killed or injured. The music is “to turn our cries of sorrow into songs of healing,” he shares. “We hope to convey that we are together with the community in our mourning and that the faith community cares deeply about the neighbourhood.” He welcomes participation in this activity through churches. More information and ways to participate are being shared through #WeLoveWillowdale.
There are many more like Jesse who are working to support the community. Dr. Melissa Davis, Assistant Professor of Music and Worship Arts, alongside Kellen Jones from Peoples Church will be directing a choir in Sunday’s Interfaith Vigil at Mel Lastman Square. This event will be preceded by a special march by #WeLoveWillowdale and all are welcome to participate.
Tyndale has also offered counselling services through The Family Life Centre, an effort headed by Dr. Marion Goertz for those suffering trauma from this attack. Care is available in several different languages.
We ask that you join us in prayer for all who have been affected by this tragedy.