AURORA — Calvary Chapel Aurora marked the upcoming first anniversary of the July 20 movie theater shooting by showing a film Thursday night.
The free 7 p.m. offering of "Hope for Healing Hearts," a Christian-themed film narrated by Dr. James Dobson, was shown in the 1,200-person-capacity church at 18900 E. Hampden Ave.
The nondenominational Calvary Chapel of about 3,000 members sits about 5 miles down the road in Aurora from the Century 16 theaters, where a gunman killed 12 and wounded 58 during a midnight show.
After the tragedy, church leaders said they learned by asking members during their Grace FM radio broadcasts that at least 47 from the congregation had been at the theaters that night, though none were seriously hurt.
"Everyone in the church was affected one way or another. Evil attempted to take away a place — the movies — and we'll take it back," Calvary Pastor Ed Taylor said. "We're not afraid of movies."
However, he does acknowledge that some people are now anxious in movie houses and in other large enclosed public places, such as churches, schools and restaurants — places where other mass killings have taken place.
Taylor said the point of showing the film about loss and healing — and of all the chapel's outreach efforts — is to send a message that no one in Aurora is alone in their pain and grief.
"Everyone walks around with some kind of hurt," Taylor said. "It doesn't take long in life to experience it."
Taylor said he now better understands the grief of the many parents who lost their children at Century 16 Aurora.
That early morning when he first heard of the movie shooting, he ran to the bedroom of one son, home from college, who easily could have gone to see that midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." But there he was, safe in his bed.
Then, less than a year later, on Memorial Day, he lost his 26-year-old son who, after a few weeks in a coma, succumbed to a heart attack he suffered while mowing his lawn. An undiagnosed heart defect claimed this son, who himself was a father and husband.
Taylor said he doesn't know what extra torment or horror comes in the wake of a violent death, but he now better grasps the depths of pain a parent can experience.
"Hope for Healing Hearts" attempts to help people recover from life's losses, Taylor said. "I am very eager to see it myself."
He wants to show it again, he said, if he can arrange it, in a rented Century 16 theater on the first anniversary of the shooting.
Read more:Calvary Chapel hosts a night of Aurora theater-shooting healing - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23644107/calvary-chapel-aurora-hosts-night-healing-at-movies#ixzz2Z36QuztM
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