In Los Angeles, children are cut down in a storm of bullets at a Jewish Community Center.
In Littleton, Colo., teenagers return to high school for the first time since two of their classmates turned the library into a slaughterhouse.
And in Landover Hills, a young mother is killed as she lies in bed with her child, allegedly by men doing a favor for the infant's father.
In churches and synagogues across Prince George's County last weekend, many people prayed for an end to the violence. But in addition to prayers and preaching, church leaders said much more can be done to stem the tide of gun violence.
"Father, we thank you for this day; we ask you to speak to our hearts the words of life," prayed the Rev. Ronald Frazier during services at Christ Church Way of the Cross in Cheverly. "Lord, lift up Theresa Jackson and her family, we pray you turn this tragedy around."
Tiffany Dionna Jackson, Theresa Jackson's 17-year-old daughter, was gunned down last week. Frazier said the slain girl was an active member of Way of the Cross Church of Christ in the District, where he used to be assistant pastor.
Prince George's County police suspect that Jackson's death was the result of a dispute between Jackson and her boyfriend, David John Head, 17. Head and two of his friends have been charged with first-degree murder.
Frazier said Tiffany's death is a painful example of how some people don't know how to resolve conflicts.
"The Bible says be angry, but do not sin," Frazier said. "We have to teach people how to resolve conflict in a Christian way. We need to teach them how to express their negative feelings."
Frazier said people who turn to violence often feel isolated, don't have many family members and don't know how to handle conflicts.
The Rev. Vandy Kennedy, pastor of Walker Mill Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, said the theme of his sermons this year is "Victory Over Violence." Kennedy began his church several years ago after a grandmother was stabbed to death in Walker Mill Gardens, in Capitol Heights.
"What we have to do is bring people together as families," said Kennedy, who cut the ribbon this summer to a renovated Walker Mill apartment complex that has a playground, computer lab and renovated units. The church worked with NationsBank Corp. and the W.C. Smith Co. to improve the residents' living conditions.
Rabbi David Greenspoon, of the Nevy Shalom Synagogue in Bowie, said that "most rabbis have been talking about this issue and how to respond to what basically boils down to terrorism."
In his sermon Saturday, he called for a "threefold" response. "We should not let terrorism exert power and control over us; we have to be more actively Jewish, more visible, more identifiable, display more pride and dignity and refuse to cower.
"Responding to an issue violently is saying that you don't have any other skills with which to respond to the issue," Greenspoon said. "We need to make sure that kids grow up getting the skills they need to respond to a conflict, but not violently.
"We need to remember that we are not alone in facing this scourge of violence and that religious leaders across all spectrums, leaders of ethnic groups of all types, real Americans have expressed abhorence for these violent attacks."
The Rev. Michael Kelly, pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Largo, said his church is planning a retreat in September to teach teenagers about respecting themselves first and then their peers.
"If [teenagers] don't respect themselves, they can't respect others," said Kelly, adding that the Catholic Church has no tolerance for violence and killing. "As Catholics, we respect the dignity of life from the womb to the tomb."
The Rev. Betty Peebles, pastor of the 13,000-member Jericho City of Praise, said the recent rash of violence should be "a wake-up call" to all people of faith who must make it clear that the church has the answers for the world's problems. "The most current book in the world is the Bible.
"We offer children so many alternatives, but we need to stay with the Bible," Peebles said, adding that ministers can't just preach harsh rhetoric to young people. "The time for fire and brimstone preaching is over. We need to be teaching people about the word of God so they understand."
CAPTION: Minister Arnold Murray, right, and Sheila Magee sing during services at Christ Church Way of the Cross in Cheverly.
CAPTION: Joy Frazier, 4, taps the microphone before the children's choir sings during services at Christ Church Way of the Cross, where the pastor prayed for the family of a slain teenager.