By Shawn Knepper
Waking up to learn a student has been injured and to learn of his or her passing is something no classmate wants to hear. Southwestern has felt the pain of student death before, and this December felt it once again.
Gabriel “Gabe” Luna’s memorial service took place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at First United Methodist Church. The service was led by Molly Just, campus minister, and Rachelle Speer, First United Methodist Church’s associate pastor. The service featured special music by Jordan Butler, alum.
The ministers shared three scripture readings in reflection of how God created Luna and how God was a part of his life, along with moments of silence to reflect and give thanks.
The two led the congregation in a remembrance candle lighting.
Speer said, “Through history, the spiritual practice of prayer was the lighting of candles. We know God hears our prayers and we know he’s resonating with us right now.”
Luna was the victim of a targeted shooting in December. No arrests have been made. The Winfield police department, with the help of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, is still looking into what happened Dec. 18.
Those hurting may not be able to make sense of why the life of a man was taken away. Some might feel angry, confused or in pain.
Just led the final scripture reading and closing benediction of the evening, reminding those who had memories with Luna that a piece of the Lord is within Luna and within them.
Just said, “We know about how his life wasn’t easy, and yet, we know that the piece of Jesus touches in all those places, even in death. So take this time this evening to offer your sorrow to Christ, but to rejoice in moving forward for the hope of tomorrow, that after the darkness comes the morning.”