Community Mourns, Gathers, Takes Action

The sudden death of a Severna Park High School student prompts the formation of monthly seminars for parents of teens.

More than 500 area youth and adults gathered last Friday evening at for a service in memory of .  

Family members, including Tracy's twin sister Rachel, friends, classmates and teammates participated in a remembrance of the 16-year-old student.

Area youth were asked to share their feelings on a post-it note which were then read by the Rev. Gene Nickol at Tracy's service on Tuesday at Our Lady of the Fields Church in Millersville.

Earlier that day, the high school girls varsity lacrosse team, of which Tracy was a member, walked the field and joined parents at the field house. Since Tracy's death, a "Teens Taking Action Against Suicide" Facebook page—created locally—has more than 4,000 members.

Area churches are banding together to help parents and support the teens.

"We want to provide a foundation for each of our youth so they can see their uniqueness," said the Rev. Nancy Lincoln Reynolds of Woods who led the service with the Rev. Lee Farrell of .

Reynolds said that there is always an immediate response from the faith community when tragedies such as this happen. This time, she said, there is a noticeable intensity to start addressing the issues facing teens and their families. 

"My experience in the community is that there is a mix of outrage and grieving," Reynolds said.

The Severna Park Area Ministry group of area churches met immediately in response to the crisis. Now, plans are in the works for starting monthly educational seminars for parents of teens at the where turnout is expected to be very high, Reynolds said. These large meetings will be followed by smaller groups forming by individual faith organizations and churches.

"We will be starting [the meetings] right away," Reynolds said. Area churches will be coordinating their own and can put their own faith perspective on the topic, she said.

Visit for more insight into building a stronger community for families and information on the community meetings.


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