Across Southeast Wisconsin on Sunday, church leaders delivered messages of hope after last week's Christmas parade tragedy in Waukesha.
"Use what you have where you are. Nowhere has that been more important than what we're experiencing right now," said Pastor Todd Pope of Bridge Church.
"You can be that light to your neighbor, to strangers, to the person that's in line in the coffee shop behind you, with little acts of kindness, just to be that light."
Bridge held a special service for members from both its Waukesha and Oconomowoc campuses so everyone could grieve and heal together under the same roof.
Jane Kulich, a member at the Waukesha branch, was killed on November 21st when a man drove an SUV into the city's annual Christmas parade. In total, six people died and dozens more were injured. Some remain in the hospital.
"Our deepest condolences go to the family and friends of Jane Kulich, who faithfully attended bridge church in Waukesha, and was sitting over to our right, as her husband John is this morning," said Pope.
He added that in times like this it's important to grieve.
"That's part of it. It's so important. But one thing we talked about today is to grieve with hope to realize that we can be the light in the midst of this darkness," said Pope.
In neighboring Mukwonago, Life Point Church remembered the life of eight-year-old Jackson Sparks, one of its members who was injured during the parade and later died.
"I wanted to extend our condolences to the Sparks family, the recent tragic passing of their son." said Pastor Rob Jadrnicek. "And I want to thank you, the church, so much. You're outpouring of love."
Not far up the road, congregants prayed for the parade victims at Fox River Christian Church. And Fox leaders thanked the congregation for giving.
"People have stepped up in such generous ways. Here these words again from God: Well done. With what I've trusted you with, you've been a good and faithful steward," said Conn.
Bridge Church ended its combined service on Sunday by bringing Jane Kulich's husband, John Kulich, on stage to say a few words.
"I wasn't surprised at all to hear that someone from our church was right there beside my Jane at that moment [during the parade]," said Kulich
"i just want to thank everyone. And I don't even think that begins to express the gratitude that we [his family] have. But it's what i can do."
Bridge Church is holding a celebration of life service for Jane Kulich on Saturday. Pastor Todd said the community is invited.