ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — After the devastating shooting in Texas, Roanoke’s Loudon Avenue Christian Church wanted to make sure people had a place to seek comfort and peace.

“Just found it really necessary to come together and just open our sanctuary,” said Pastor Anthony Holmes of Loudon Avenue Christian Church.

“No music, no choir, no preaching going on, just to make space for people here,” he added.

Holmes abandoned his regular routine of Bible study, saying that with all that’s taken place recently, hearts are heavy.

“Grief is simply the byproduct of loss and we’ve lost lives this month,” said Holmes.

After the Texas school shooting and the recent violence in Roanoke, one of the many things parents must consider is how to explain the mass shootings to their kids.

“Really largely going to depend upon where the child is developmentally,” said Sarah Harig, therapist and clinical director of Family Service of Roanoke Valley.

Harig says the conversation has to be transparent.

“I would encourage parents just to present the facts and keep it brief while also opening up space your child or teen to ask questions and express their feelings,” said Harig.

In addition, for kids who are grieving, structure and predictability are still important because those routines can make them feel safer, according to Harig.

Meanwhile, Holmes encourages praying during this challenging period.

“It’s just a difficult moment. Maybe a person will come searching for answers that we don’t have, and all we can do right now is pray that God will continue to lead us through this difficult time,” said Holmes.