Community healing begins after Morrison murder

Published: Jul. 12, 2017 at 10:29 PM CDT
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Memorials are beginning to appear in front of Peggy Schroeder’s home. It is one of the several ways the 53-year-old’s community is remembering her.

The town was thrust into a spotlight this past week after news of her murder and charges against her 15-year-old daughter were announced. “It’s not something that we want obviously,” said her pastor, Mark Winkelman about the attention Morrison has gotten. “I mean no one wants that.”

But the leader of St. Peters Lutheran Church says this is a chance to show everyone Morrison’s strength.

“My hope is that through it, we'll also show the nation our love and our compassion and the desire to help one another and to really be supportive,” he said.

that starts in places like this.

Schroeder had been a faithful member of the church for the past six years. She was one of two deaf members. Pastor Winkleman says he tried to make her feel at home by helping bridge the gap to God's word.

“Every Sunday that she would come I would do what I’m doing now. I would be signing and talking at the same time,” Winkleman said.

He says Schroeder would have been one of the first to volunteer to bring people together at a time like this.

“If I had let her know about things like this, she would say, ‘do you need me to bring anything? What can I do to help?’” Winkelman said.

Now he hopes the community can draw on her strength.

“The way that God showed his love through Peggy, we then want to remember that, and then continue that by helping each other, loving, smiling as she did.”

But he wants to remind everyone there is a long road ahead.

“We can't let this be the only step that we take,” he said of the church service held Wednesday night, July 12. “If we are allowed to be separated, that will only continue to hurt each of us. The best way the way God made us is to be community, to be together.”