The community of Knoxville is pausing to remember and pray for the victims and their families from Sunday’s shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. Knoxville area residents of all faiths and creeds (like Tom McCosh, from the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship in Madisonville, TN, above) have been leaving flowers and notes at the church’s entrance. The sign at the entrance has become a makeshift memorial to Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger, the two fatalities from Sunday’s shooting.
The Knox County Commission opened its Monday meeting with a moment of silence, followed by an invocation by Gary Weedman, president of Johnson Bible College, who prayed, “We lift up these brave people who acted so courageously and lovingly.” Commissioner Mark Harmon, a member of the church, talked about the heroes of that Sunday morning.
The community came together on Monday evening for a candlelight vigil in the sanctuary of the Second Presbyterian Church, which stands adjacent to TVUUC. Congregants who survived the Sunday shooting gathered earlier that evening to meet with crisis counsellors, while volunteers from Temple Beth El and Heska Amuna synagogues provided food.
And today, more than 150 people attended an ecumenical service at First Baptist Church of Knoxville at noon today, where two candle were lit on the church in memory of Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger. St. John’s Lutheran Church will hold a service of hope and healing this evening, while the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee offered its crisis response team to TVUUC church members to help deal with the shootings.
We join our thoughts and prayers with the community of Knoxville for those who were so deeply affected by this tragedy.
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