Member of Grants Pass Adventist Church Sarena Dawn Moore Among Umpqua Shooting Victims

Sarena Dawn Moore, a member of the Grants Pass Oregon Seventh-day Adventist Church, was one of nine victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting on October 1, 2015. In addition to Moore, the following individuals have been named by the media as victims in the Umpqua shooting:

Lucero Alvarez,19, of Roseburg Treven Taylor Anspach, 20, of Sutherlin Rebecca Ann Carnes, 18, of Myrtle Creek Quinn Glen Cooper, 18, of Roseburg Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59, of Roseburg Lucas Eibel, 18, of Roseburg Jason Dale Johnson, 33, of Winston Lawrence Levine, 67, of Glide

According to Gary McLain, the Communication Director for the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventits, Moore was 44 years old, born July 8th, 1971. She was in her third semester in Business at Umpqua Community College. Moore was baptized by Pastor Rob Kearbey in the Hayfork Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2005 in the Northern California Conference after attending an evangelistic series in the Hayfork Church.

"She was loved right into the family of God," McLain noted.

Moore subsequently moved to Grants Pass, Oregon, where she joined the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist Church, after which she moved to Roseburg to enroll as a student at UCC. McLain states that Moore was known as a strong firm believer in prayer. "She often asked for prayer and prayed for others herself. Though she didn't have many possessions, she had a big heart and would try to help those less fortunate than herself. She was a single mom and loved her now young adult sons dearly."

Moore counted being able to enroll at UCC as a direct answer to prayer. "She praised the Lord for opening doors for her to pursue a degree in Business," McLain said. She often wrote, "Please pray for me!" "Love how God can bless us," and "Thank God!" on Facebook her posts.

Unconfirmed reports from several outlets indicate that the shooter deliberately targeted Christians in his killing spree.

"If true," McLain noted, "Sarena demonstrated her faith in a way that very few would feel prepared to do. It was an act of courage and faith that our God carefully noted...and her faith will become sight at the resurrection morning."

The Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventist and the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist jointly prepared the following statement:

The Oregon Conference and North Pacific Union Conference church family of members extends our prayers on behalf of all those personally impacted by the tragic events on Thursday, October 1, at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

Christian Martin, Grants Pass (Oregon) Adventist Church pastor, reports additional sad news, confirmed today by Douglas County authorities. Sarena Moore, one of his church members, was among those killed by the gunman. She was 44. It’s been reported that one of Sarena’s last posts on Facebook was an affirmation of her desire to stand up for Jesus and Christianity.

We urge all Northwest members to pray specifically for the Grants Pass Church and Sarena’s extended family as well as our Roseburg area churches. Please continue to pray for all the students and families impacted along with the first responders and medical personnel.

Al Reimche, Oregon Conference president, says tragedies like this remind us to “join together in praying that God will fill our hearts with a passion to share His love in a world that desperately needs Him.”

In addition, we echo the thoughts of Dan Jackson, North American Division president, shared as follows.

“The Seventh-day Adventist church in North America is heartbroken that once again a gunman has taken nine precious lives in a mass school shooting. We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the nine people killed, the many wounded, and the students, faculty and staff of Umpqua Community College. We also pray for the community of Roseburg and the heartache they are experiencing as a result of this tragedy.

“It is difficult to believe that a great nation like the United States must once again mourn the loss of God’s children whose lives have been senselessly taken at the hands of a mass shooting. Surely, this nation, that has become a beacon of hope and opportunity for scores of people, can be a land where all feel safe from the violence of firearms.

“It is time for our society to engage in open, honest, civil, and productive conversation about finding solutions to put an end once and for all to gun violence. We pray that this tragedy will bring about much needed change and address the pandemic of gun violence.

“We pray for the day when children and adults can attend school without fear. We pray for the day when, as the Prophet Isaiah promises, ‘They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.’”

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

i go back and forth in my thinking on the trajectory of obama’s final months in office, but i think his outrage as a result of this particular shooting is preeminently laudable…i do hope americans take his advice and decide to make a willingness to re-examine the second amendment an election issue…


I hope no one will try to explain this sequence of events as “part of God’s plan.” God led her to the church, then to the college where she could be a “witness” to her Christian faith in this horrendous tragedy. This would be a terrible and pathetic effort to “explain” how evil and tragedy are a part of God’s providential guidance.


The Second Amendment will never be rescinded. But there are other measures that can halt the proliferation of guns in this nation. No one civilized nation has anywhere near the gun fatalities as the U.S. As Pres. Obama said, "the young men in the U.S. are not more violent than in other nations that have much fewer incidences of gun fatalities.

Australia enacted severe gun laws and a buy-back program that greatly decreased gun fatalities. Britain has hardly a percentage of gun deaths compared to the U.S.; just as Japan, China, and all of the other western European nations.

It is not an intractable problem; we know what can be done, but where is the political will? This is a very difficult hot potato, politically, but that is where the answer lies. Emotional reaction of all the families of victims and millions who want to see this violence end, but emotions will not solve the problem.

If you congressional representative will not act to prevent this senseless violence with guns, let him or her know that they will not get your vote, no matter what else is done. Be a one-issue voter if this is as important to you as Gabby Giffords, Brady’s wife, and all the families of victims and the many who look to Congress to fix this problem.


This is terrible to hear this news. I knew Sarena and her son Kenneth in the Hayfork, Ca. church. I remember when she was baptized into our church by Pastor Kearbey. I was an elder at the time in that church. I became good friends with the family and even bought little Kenny a new pair of pants and shirt to wear to church to replace the tattered clothes he had. She was a nice person. This is a horrible tragedy, and really strikes close to,home for me to actually have known a person who was a victim to this senseless act of violence.


The loss of any one of these precious souls is horrific and heart-rending, but certainly the loss of this dear sister brings the pain closer to home.


We live in Babylon … Every one for themselves … Society is broken and all the king’s men cannot put it together … Blame is not the path to peace … Jesus did not come to condemn but to save the world because God loves His creation …

As the song goes, Love, love changes everything!

Every time.

Every one.

For God so loved the world … pass it on … by loving …

There are no political solutions, only personal solutions.

The World don’t need God, it needs us.

And we don’t need the church, the church needs us.

God doesn’t need us, He loves us and created us in His image. Jesus at once the Son of God and the Son of Man created us, loves us, has redeemed us for eternity, and will return return to claim us to be in his presence forever.

The empowering revolution in the Gospel is to know that everyone we meet, without exception, will be with us for eternity. The First Angel of the Three clarifies the truth of the Gospel of Jesus across the whole of Babylon, Babylon being the confusion that envelopes the World of which we are included.

Patience is compelling and is inherent to the clarity of the Gospel.

We no longer trudge, we live patiently, loving one another … so promises the Three Angels’ Message.

Let it be.


Just sent my condolences to the church and the conference. A little sign of solidarity - wish more could be done.


A sober reminder that we face large obstacles at home, let alone abroad, in a hunt for peace and safety. Our hearts go out to everyone lost at the hand of illusion, fear, and anger. The availability of weapons is one issue, but the problems are far bigger. They are cultural. We need to attack the weapon and cultural issues directly and swiftly.


What is so sacred about the Second Amendment? Did someone have a vision that endorsed it? Did an angel write it on golden plates? Is there any biblical basis that Christians have the right to carry guns? Where does the authority for the Second Amendment come from? Is it man-made or divine?
Americans seem to be in awe of the Second Amendment, so devoted to it that they are prepared to allow thousands of their own to die for it. Is the American militia so weak today that ordinary citizens, even young teenagers, cannot rely on them for protection?
I can understand that when the Second Amendment was first made law at that time a citizen may have a greater need to protect oneself from bears and wolves and Red Indians and little old ladies at Salem. But times have changed. Bears and wolves and Red Indians are being driven to extinction. So it must be the old ladies at Salem who are the problem. I can understand why. After all, they wear long dresses and drink only green tea. They must be a real threat to the macho American who has to carry a gun.


Sarena Moore by all accounts was a lovely person. I had a high school classmate who died in the South Tower 14 years ago. When the people become real, the enormity of the tragedy hits.

As to the 2nd Amendment, it is helpful with any document to understand context and intent. I have studied the Founding Era and especially the Bill of Rights very carefully and at the graduate level, even looking at original documents as well as the best modern scholarship.

When Madison wrote the BoR, he drew upon many proposed amendments submitted by Anti-Federalists in the various state legislatures. The Antis, as they were called, opposed the Constitution as a threat to the power of their state legislatures. One of their great fears was that the new national government would build a powerful army and impose tyranny by force of arms on the states. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to ensure that the state militias would be strong enough to resist such an army. They certainly never intended to inhibit reasonable gun regulation because they imposed it on the local level.

The evidence is clear and abundant that over 310 million guns and the ammo for them without reasonable and effective regulation–and we are without it–is the reason we far and away lead the world in gun violence. We kill between 30 and 35,000 of our fellow citizens every year. That’s about 1.1 million since John Lennon was assassinated in 1980. That is about 1.5 X as many Americans as have been killed in all US wars since 1776. About 2/3 of that annual total is by suicide and suicide is successful by gun more than all other methods combined. So we also need to address mental health in a serious way.

When something like this happens, its fine to pray and grieve. Then, however, we need to get off our butts and use the brains God gave us to act.


Apparently the deranged shooter (as all shooters in these kinds of mass killings are) asked what the religion was of the person he aimed his gun at. “Christian” got you killed, though, perhaps, Christians weren’t necessarily singled out. But religious or not, those that died have families and loved ones that need our prayers and compassionate support. One of those, Sarena Moore, being an SDA, certainly brings this tragedy especially near and personal. “How long, O Lord?”

I was glad to see that Dan Jackson actually made this statement :smile:

“It is time for our society to engage in open, honest, civil, and productive conversation about finding solutions to put an end once and for all to gun violence. We pray that this tragedy will bring about much needed change and address the pandemic of gun violence."

But, honestly, will God answer our prayers if we do nothing to bring this about? Why aren’t we campaigning against those evil forces (NRA) that refuse to do anything sensible to stop gun violence? I believe God expects us to be leaders in the struggle for peace and love!


Every single mass shooting has been done by a deranged person, and/or a ideological militant of some kind. Having more laws will not keep weapons out of the hands of these kinds of people, on the same basis as prohibition didn’t work. There are already laws that govern the purchase of firearms but a lack of will to enforce them. The nuts will always find a way to get a hold of whatever weapon they want; but if there were a mandatory sentence (say 10 years minimum) for shooting off a gun at someone, we would solve the solvable problems. Case in point Chicago - 45 shot on a weekend.


I was comforted by reading the poem “Thanatopsis” as I thought about this terrible human tragedy and the horrific death of our sister in the faith, Sarena Dawn Moore. In the middle of this poem William Bryant gives insight into what death can mean. This tragedy can become an opportunity for all of us as survivors to consider how precious life is and how vulnerable we are no matter where we live or what we are doing. Life is a precious gift from God. Sarena will be missed by her children, her faith community and by many of us who while we never knew her are able to honor her memory and pray for her friends and family to be comforted. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the doctrine of the state of the dead, and the well meaning platitudes that don’t always bring comfort, that we forget to ponder the actual experience and profound process of death itself. As I think of Sarena, fellow believer and a young person, in that beautiful setting or nature in Oregon, I am reminded and comforted by these lines from the middle of the poem,Thanatopsis, written by Bryant (in bold print):
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there:
• Bryant puts us on the shores of “the Oregon,” which is an old name for the mighty Columbia River. He asks us to imagine that the wilderness around is so silent that there’s no sound except the noise of the river (“his own dashings”).
• Now the payoff for this little trip: even in the western woods, so far away from civilization, there are still dead people in the ground. That’s the one reality we can’t escape: death.
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone.
• In fact, there aren’t just a few dead people in these wild, far-away places (“solitudes”). Since the beginning of time, “millions” of people have gone underground for the big sleep. Even in places that seem completely empty of people, the dead rule there alone.
• Basically, dead people are here, dead people are there, dead people are everywhere
So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
• The whole point of this poem is that this is going to happen to you. You’re going to “rest” like all those other people.
• It’s a little scary, huh? Maybe you’re worried that, when you “withdraw,” none of your friends will notice your "departure."
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny…
• This poem isn’t trying to freak us out. The speaker doesn’t want us to feel terrible or worry about our death. He wants us to think about it in a calm, relaxed way, to see how it fits in with the natural order of the world.
• Everyone alive (“all that breathe”) is going to die. All human beings are headed for the same place. In a way, it’s obvious, but this poem forces us to think about it really carefully and perhaps to appreciate every day of life as a gift.

Rest in peace until that resurrection morning dear friend, Sarena!

To me, this is double talk. While the church publicly teaches that the Sunday Law and Time of Trouble is near when the judgments of God are to fall on millions; yet we “pray for the day” when we can live without fear with global international peace. We can’t have it both ways. To pray for peace when the church anticipates, and prays for, events that create religious persecution on global a scale, is insincere prayer.