ST. LOUIS — Jacita Massenberg is the executive pastor of Tabernacle Church St. Louis on West Florissant Avenue.  The church is approximately two miles away from the area where two St. Louis Police officers were wounded Wednesday.  

Massenberg said a combination of violence and other tragedies have added up to a noticeable increase in stress and sadness from some community members.   The church is inviting anyone experiencing grief or struggles to attend a hope and healing service.  The new service will launch on Feb. 5 and take place each Saturday at 3 p.m.

“We are focusing on hope and healing for the community,” said Massenberg.  

She said the church also provides direct counseling and has a message for young community members disillusioned by the violence they see.

“You don’t have to be a product of what you see and what you’re surrounded by,” said Massenberg.

The recent wave of tragedies involving first responders is also on the minds of area police chaplains.  Arbie Peterson volunteers his time as a Ferguson Police Chaplain.  He was headed to rollcall Thursday night to show support.

“We want them to know the city, the town, wherever they serve is committed to their well-being,” said Peterson.

He encouraged community members to write letters of support to first responders or even send food.

“The calls, cards, letters to your local station and chief, they read those,” said Peterson.  “Officers read all of those cards.”