'Violent murder in church,' Lutherans lament

George Tiller's congregation grieves
The 690-member Refor mation Lutheran congregation in Wichita, a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was “shocked by the violent murder” of physician George Tiller, 67, a “longtime member,” who was serving as an usher when he was killed on May 31.

Police arrested Scott Roeder, 51, who was charged June 2 with the fatal shooting. News reports identified him as an ardent antiabortion activist who once identified with antigovernment militia groups.

“Our congregation strives to be a safe place for all people,” said senior pastor Lowell Michelson and associate pastor Kristin Neitzel in a joint statement. “Further, we reject any notion that violence against another human being is an acceptable way to resolve differences over any issue.”


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