David Works shares story of restoration after daughters’ murders

Author David Works will tell the story of his daughters’ murders and his decision to choose a restorative response to that tragedy. Works is a guest of EMU and will speak multiple times Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 12 and 13 and again during EMU’s university chapel on Friday, Sept. 18.

Works and his wife Marie suffered the ultimate loss when their daughters – 18-year-old Stephanie and 16-year-old Rachel – were shot by a gunman in the parking lot of their New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo.

David Works
Author David Works (photo by Jon Styer)

Works was also shot twice in the Dec. 9, 2007 attack, but survived the ordeal.

As a result of a peacebuilding seminar that Works attended the previous year at Eastern Mennonite University, he decided not to continue the cycle of violence by seeking revenge. Instead, he and Marie chose to work toward forgiveness and restoration. They share their story in the book Gone in a Heartbeat: Our Daughters Died… Our Faith Endures (Focus on the Family).

Works is returning to Harrisonburg to participate in a week-long STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilence) training program at EMU. While here, will speak in several settings on the family’s journey of grief, loss and reconciliation.

He will speak at a pastor’s and local leaders breakfast 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 in room 123 at Eastern Mennonite Seminary on the EMU campus. A light breakfast will be served; admission is free.

Works will do book signings 2-3:30 p.m. at Family Christian Bookstore, 1621 E Market St., and from 7-8:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 289 Burgess Rd., Harrisonburg. Works will speak at the opening of the signing and be available to interact with customers.

He will share in two public presentations on Sunday, Sept. 13. He will speak at Immanuel Mennonite Church, 400 Kelley Street, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The service will be followed by a potluck. All are welcome. Phone 746-8844 with questions. Sunday evening he will speak at 7 p.m. at Park View Mennonite Church, 1600 Park Road. The following Friday, Sept. 18, he will speak in a university chapel at EMU’s Lehman Auditorium. All are welcome.

"We are grateful that David has been a part of our Center for Peacebuilding community here at EMU," said Lynn R. Roth, CJP executive director, "and we hope persons will take advantage of the opportunity to hear his story. He is an inspiration as he and Marie have sought restoration and healing from the tragic family experience," Roth added.

For more information on any of these events, contact EMU church relations at (540) 432-4589.