Churches offer to host funeral for alleged St. Peter’s shooter

| May 10, 2012

In the spirit of forgiveness, several local Episcopal churches have offered to host a funeral for Douglas Franklin Jones, the man Howard County police say fatally shot a rector and a church administrator at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ellicott City before killing himself in nearby woods.

"A couple of churches thought it would be nice to offer their space," said Sharon Tillman, a spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. "It's up to [his] family whether they will take it or not."

Jones is accused of entering the church May 3 and shooting the Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn, whose funeral was held Tuesday at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore, and ecclesiastical administrator Brenda Brewington, whose funeral is scheduled for Thursday at St. John's Episcopal Church in Ellicott City.

Tillman declined to name the parishes that have offered their space for Jones' funeral or when the offers were made.

Jones' family had "neither accepted nor declined" the offer as of late Wednesday, she said.

The Rev. Richard Ginnever, rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia, said the clergy in the area were in "sensitive conversations" with Jones' family but declined to say whether his parish was involved in those conversations.

"Those are things that we'll keep between the churches and the family," Ginnever said. "We as Episcopal clergy here have offered to help everyone as much as possible."

It's that collective approach to the tragedy at St. Peter's, Ginnever and others said, that is holding the local Episcopal community together.

"We're working as a team with this," said the Rev. Carol Pinkham Oak, rector of St. John's.

 

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-05-09/news/bs-md-ho-church-shooting-response-20120509_1_churches-offer-church-administrator-parishes

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