Statement from Sr. Warden of Holy Family, Half Moon Bay

Mass Shooting in Half Moon Bay

I’m sure all of you have heard the horrific news of the mass shooting here in Half Moon Bay. One of the locations was very close to the Church, maybe a quarter mile away. One of our first thoughts in a situation like this is concern for our preschool and the precious children who attend Holy Family Children’s Center. The preschool director and staff acted in an exemplary manner when faced with this situation. They immediately went into lockdown, keeping all of the children inside and away from the windows. They then contacted anxious parents, who came to the center to safely retrieve their children. If you happen to see Sue or one of our preschool teachers please tell them how grateful we are for their quick thinking and excellent care.

We’ve all just been through quite a shock. The Coastside is the last place where you would expect to see a mass shooting. This is not who we are. The Coastside is such a caring and unique community that cares about its neighbors, but we’ve lost some of our innocence today.

We all may know some of the victims and possibly even the shooter. Pre-pandemic, when we were doing our produce distribution, we often had Chinese farmworkers come to the event. Unfortunately, it’s very likely that some of those who came were impacted by this senseless tragedy.

I’m sure we will see some community gatherings in the next few days led by the local faith community. Already, Eric and I have been talking with Rabbi Moshe of CJC, Pastor Sue of Coastside Lutheran and Pastor Lisa of the Methodist Church. I know this circle of faith will grow as we come together to heal our community.

As many of you know I love the prayers written by the Iona community. I reach out to their books of prayers in times like this. At the end of this message, I’ve included two prayers that speak to me in this time of need.

This is a time to pray, to hug each other and be extra kind to the stranger. The Diocese has been reaching out to us since the news broke. Bishop Marc called me to express his concern and love for us as we process and deal with the trauma and grief. Bishop Marc wrote this message this evening to our community.



Message from Bishop Marc

Dear people of Holy Family, Half Moon Bay,

I write to you as your bishop, and as an American, heartbroken by the devastating news of a mass killing by gun violence in our own Half Moon Bay. I’m so grateful for the prompt response of the pre-school teachers and staff, thankful for the leadership of your Senior Warden, Ken, and for your long-term supply priest, the Rev. Eric Nefstead, a priest with extraordinary pastoral abilities.

For now, the best we can do is to be the Body of Christ for one another – and, as I know, “one another” for you means neighbors who are not part of your congregation. We must comfort one another, pray for those who mourn, allay fears where we can. But then, we must join with the many who continue to advocate for laws that will help limit such senseless acts of gun violence.

Please know you are in my prayers. I have been on the telephone with Ken, and he knows how to reach me as needed.

Peace and all good,

The Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus, DD PhD


The Episcopal Diocese of California



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