Sandy Springs church holds vigil for Sandy Hook victims

by: Carl Willis Updated:

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SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. —

A metro Atlanta church held a vigil Sunday for victims of the school shooting and their families.

Members of Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church in Sandy Springs prayed, lit candles and placed the names of each the young victims in a prayer chest.

Church members said this was their way of letting people in Newtown, Conn., know they are not alone.

Twenty children and six adults were killed Friday morning at Sandy Hook elementary school. The gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed himself at the school. Police said he also killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at the home they shared.

"I hope they do think that everyone is thinking of it," said Brenda Letzer. "Everyone can imagine themselves in the same position. We just can't control things that happen."

Church Director Michael Sullivan told Channel 2's Carl Willis the special service was a direct response to his congregation asking to offer up prayers for those in pain.

"We hope this is a way of saying that we understand what happened that this is a part of our neighborhood as well, that we bare responsibility and that the faith and love that we proclaim here can be felt in that same place," said Sullivan.

The church's name comes from a story in the gospel where Herod killed children in his attempt to eliminate Jesus.

Sullivan said the loss of so many young lives in Connecticut struck chord with him.

"We take our name seriously and realize that there are Herod's of any time, that bring more Holy innocents into our focus,” Sullivan said.

"You lift things up to the Lord is what you try to do," said Letzer.

Holy Innocents' also serves as a school to 1,300 students. Sullivan said they will be prepared to support them as they process the tragedy.