Monday, July 28, 2008

Are You Holding Vigils and Services of Remembrance? Please Let Us Know!

We are so touched by the many expressions of support and love for our brothers and sisters in Knoxville which have appeared here. All of these messages will be shared with the Unitarian Universalists of Knoxville, who are participating in a vigil this evening.

In the meantime, if you are involved in a vigil, service of remembrance, or other event which is designed to express support for our friends in Knoxville, we invite you to email with information on that event. Please use the heading "Knoxville Solidarity" in the heading. We have collected all the information received thus far. It's been posted at .

After the worship event has concluded, please send parts of the liturgy used and photos if they are available. We will be editing and posting many of these worship elements and photos to share with the larger faith community.

And please do continue to post messages of support for our friends at this site.

In faith, with love,
Deborah Weiner
Director of Electronic Communication
Unitarian Universalist Association


George said...

The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life (FUUCSL) immediately held a vigil yesterday afternoon as soon as word was received. We created a memorial where people may place flowers, notes and candles, and we created a collection plate for families of the victims. We are currently holding a solidarity vigil at our church in Second Life at the same time as the TVUUC. Our love and prayers are with you, TVUUC.

Mac Goekler said...

Yes, we held a candle light vigil on the front steps of our church, UU Church of Kent (OH). We sang songs of peace and love. Please let us never forget that hate crimes and gun violence are part of our society and have to be confronted with love.

Douglas Cramer said...

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Montgomery, Alabama, will be holding a memorial service tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM CDT. Please know that we are with you as you go through this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Thirteen members and friends gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of New Bern (NC) in response to the events that occurred at the UU church in Knoxville. Our hearts are with all those in Tennessee and elsewhwere that are touched by these events. We will hold a Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM and a Memorial Seervice on Sunday, August 3, at 10:30 AM. Deborah Wheeler, President, UU Fellowship of New Bern.

Gene Kennedy said...

Perhaps thirty-five members and friends gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield (UUSGS) in Springfield, Massachusetts to honor those impacted by yesterday's violence. Stay strong, stay faithful, and breathe peace in this hard time.
-Gene Kennedy, Board Chair, UUSGS

Geraldine Zurek said...

The UU Fellowship of Winston-Salem will hold a Vigil of Healing and Remembrance on Monday, Aug 4 at 7 PM. We are also sending individual cards to TVUUC. I hope to get pictures to you of the service.

We hold all of you at TVUUC in our hearts.

Geraldine Zurek
President, UUFW-S

George said...

We have had about 75-100 people from all over the world, including Scotland and England, stop by our vigil over the last couple of hours. It has really been an amazing outpouring of support and we plan to post photos soon. There are still about 15 people there right now.

Cynthia Landrum said...

Our small church held a loving vigil of solidarity and support this evening with you. About twenty were in attendance--a large number for our small church in the summer, especially on half a day's notice. We lit candles of love, support, and remembrance and sang songs of friendship and faith. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Cynthia Landrum
Universalist Unitarian Church of East Liberty
Clarklake, MI

Pamela Vincent said...

The First Universalist Church of Minneapolis held a vigil this evening at 7:30 pm. We prayed, sang, and lit candles in our small peace garden in front of the church.

Jackcodak said...

First off, I would like to offer my condolences to the families. Secondly, I would like to take up a collection for the families at the call center where I work, raising money for various progressive groups. This is the saddest thing I've heard of in a long, long time. Don't hesitate to contact me. I'm going to start going to church again.


NigelUK said...

Even from where I am, I was saddened and shocked to read of what happened last Sunday. Wherever I happen to be today, I'll light a candle and say prayers - for that church community, for the man who did this deed, and for those he killed.

In particular I'll be thinking of the usher Mr. McKendry, without whose sacrifice the number of deaths would have been greater still.

It simply isn't true that, as a practising Anglican living as I do in Portsmouth UK, what happened in a church as far away as Tennessee, in a country I've never visited, has 'nothing to do with me'. If one part of the body of Christ is injured, we're ALL affected.

Peace, always.


Anonymous said...

As we gather together many people are asking how they can help. Is there a place to donate money for the families of the victims? The UUA website does not seem to have a specific place to donate to TVUU

Profgoff said...

A vigil was held yesterday afternoon at High Street Church - Unitarian Universalist in Macon, GA at 5:00 PM. Twenty of our members and friends gathered together to share moments of silence, moments listening to selections from our hymnal, and moments of sharing our grief and sorrow. Another vigil will be held Wednesday at 6:30 PM for many who were not able to arrange their schedules in time to make the Monday gathering. Plans are already underway to mark this tragedy in this Sunday's service, with specific attention being given to helping our children process this event. Our hearts go out to our friends in Knoxville.

Anonymous said...

The following excerpt from "Ye Weary Wayfarer" by Adam Lindsay Gordon was given to me during a time of great personal tragedy by an anonymous soul, and I can think of no better time to pass it on.
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
KINDESS in another's trouble,
COURAGE in your own.

Rev. Dr. Daniel O'Connell said...

UUs in St Louis, MO will be holding a vigil this Wednesday evening. Our prayers of hope and courage will be for the families of TVUUC in the days ahead.

John Shuck said...

In order to stand with our Unitarian Universalist brothers and sisters in Knoxville, and to shine a light for hope, human dignity, and peace, First Presbyterian of Elizabethton, TN will hold a candlelight service on Wednesday, July 30th at 7 p.m.

The larger community is invited and encouraged to attend. The service itself will be about 30 minutes and will be followed by conversation to allow us to process some of what we have been feeling.

Anonymous said...

West Valley U U Church of Glendale Arizona held a candlelight vigil for Tennessee Valley UU’s on July 28, 2008.

Reading: When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come in the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. Wendell Berry.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg, SC said...

The UU Church of Spartanburg
(SC) will hold a healing and candle light service on Wednesday July 30th at 7:00 p.m.
This is a community-wide event; all are invited. Pat Jobe will lead this informal service with
song and everyone will have an opportunity to speak or remain silent, whichever he or she prefers.
We are encouraging our children to attend this special healing service.

T Cook said...

The First Unitarian Church of Orlando, Florida held a candle light vigil on Monday night. In attendance were approx. 30 members and friends of the church. We lit candles for the victims, played quiet music, and then attendees share quotes or poems, either written by themselves or by others. When we exited our Sanctuary, we lit candles and sung songs of peace, such as Holly Near's "We are a Gentle Angry People."

TVUUC, we'll be sending you a paper banner with our prayers fro you on it, as well as images from our vigil and many of the words that were spoken.

Be blessed and know that you are not alone in this difficult time. We love you.

UUFG said...

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, FL gathered in honor of the victims and to care for one another at a service at 7:00 pm on Monday evening (July 28), led by our co-ministers Rev. Meredith Garmon and Rev. LoraKim Joyner. Members sang together and shared their own thoughts and feelings while lighting candles in rememberance and care. This was a time to grieve together, to seek meaning and solace together: a time to hold and be held in this community of care, memory, and hope.

Debra said...

First UU of Columbus OH had a candlelight service on Monday, 7-28-08 at 7:30pm as a sign of our support & solidarity with TVUUC. We lit candles for the dead & wounded, sang hymns including "We Shall Overcome" & "Let There Be Peace on Earth", and shared how deeply & personally this tragic event has touched us. At the end of the service, some stayed to write notes of support & love which will be mailed to the church shortly.

We too had international guests & former members of TVUUC join us in remembering & supporting the amazing and courageous community at TVUUC. Perhaps most touching was the love and compassion expressed for Mr. Adkissson. Our values and principles endure even in these dark hours. Thank you for showing us the way to continue walking our path of light, love & hope.

With much love,
From your brothers & sisters at First UU Columbus OH

Maria O'Connor said...

There will be a vigil of remembrance and hope held at Unitarian Universalist Church West, 13001 W. North Ave., Brookfield, WI, 53005 at 7:00 pm (CDT), Tuesday, July 29, 2008, led by the Rev. Suzelle Lynch and members of the congregation. All are welcome to attend.
Thank you,
Maria O’Connor
UUCW Director of Religious Education

Anonymous said...

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Jersey Shore (UUCSJS) will be holding a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, July 30 at 7:30 PM at our new building construction site. Our thoughts and our love are with you now and will remain with you as you deal with the pain and sorrow of this tragedy.

Richard Grzywinski, Vice Pres., UUCSJS

Ellen Carvill-Ziemer said...

Could that list be public as well as privately emailed? There are those of us who would like to know which area churches are having something, but are not on each of those churches email lists. There are also many of us far from home on summer trips of various kinds who are also wondering where to go.

Anonymous said...

The Woodinville UU Church in Washington state is holding a candlelight vigil tonight, Tuesday, 7/29, at 8:30 p.m. Our hearts go out to everyone in Knoxville touched by this, with most tender thoughts and blessings to the children.

Posted by Jocelyn, on behalf of all of WUUC

Anonymous said...

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, FL held a Silent Vigil Monday July 28, at 7pm. We held our vigil on our deck overlooking our Peace Pole, firmly holding all who've been wounded by this tragedy in our hearts as we joined to stand together in Peace, for Justice, in Love.

Anonymous said...

A special service will be held at First Universalist Church of Rochester, NY, on Tuesday, July
29th at 7pm.

The First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY, will be recognizing and mourning this tragedy during
our worship service on Sunday, August 3rd at 10am.

NotWiser said...

About 30 members of Northern Hills Fellowship in Cincinnati held a candlelight vigil last night. We sat with each other in silence, shared songs, spoke of our grief and anger, and sent our loving thoughts to our friends at TVUUC.

Rev.Susan said...

The Gulf Coast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is holding a vigil this Wednesday, July 30 at 6 pm at the Fellowship. Our service this Sunday will also focus on healing and solidarity. This tiny Fellowship has faced a firebombing decades ago and the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. Our hearts and prayers are with all of you at the Tennessee Valley and Westside Churches as you embrace one another and find new meaning as a community. We send you our love and support as you heal and transform your lives and community by your very presence.

Robert Herzog said...

In response to last Sunday's tragic church shootings in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship invites all interested to participate in a Circle of Sorrow and Support, Thursday evening, July 31st, at 7:30 pm at the Fellowship. This will include the opportunity for individuals to share their emotions and thoughts in response to this tragedy, as well as a ritual of solidarity with the Knoxville congregation and Unitarian Universalists throughout the United States.

Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship
105 N. Parrish Lane,
Carbondale, IL (618-529-2439)

Jim Slavin said...

The First Parish UU Church in Bridgewater, MA plans to hold a candlelight vigil on Wednesday evening at 7:30 in love and solidarity with our fellow church in Knoxville. Service will be held on the front lawn, weather permitting, or in the sanctuary. Members and friends are invited to share a reading if they so desire.

Angela Drake said...

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta held a vigil Tuesday night at 7 pm. Sister congregation Aiken Unitarian Universalist church attended this service. We stand together with our fellow UU's at this tragic moment in our history and send our thoughts and prayers to the members and friends of the Tennessee Valley congregation.
Angela Drake

Yvonne said...

Just to let you know that many in the Pagan community are thinking of you and offer heartfelt condolences and many will be holding vigils.

Blessed be.

Tasha Morris said...

First Jefferson UU Church in Fort Worth, TX will be holding a worship service in the sanctuary this Wednesday, July 30th, at 7:30 p.m.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you TVUUC.

Anonymous said...

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville held a Silent Vigil Monday, July 28 at 7pm. We gathered in silence and spoke as moved. We ended with a very poignant version of 'Gathered Here.' We've also gathered written words of hope and healing that will be sent north to our brothers and sisters in the Knoxville area. We stand for Peace. We stand for Justice. We stand in Love. --Kelly Harris, Jacksonville, FL

Sue Graffius said...

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wilmington (NC) held a vigil Monday evening at 7:00. We were surprised and honored to have current members of TVUUC in attendance-they were vacationing at the beach during this horrific tragedy.

We also wrapped a black bow around our roadside sign so that all who pass by know we are in mourning with our brothers and sisters in Tennessee, and their families and friends.

We stand together with you.

Anonymous said...

My family and I are lighting the chalice for the families at TVUUC who were affected by this tragedy. We send our prayers to all of you brave and beautiful people who were witness to such horror. We would also like to say a prayer of gratitude for the wonderful support shown by so many other churches there in Knoxville.
Bert Monroe
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Nurseholistic said...

A Message from our Co-Ministers:
2008 July 27, Sunday

Dear Friends and Members,

We are saddened and shocked by the shootings this morning at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.

According to news reports, Jim Adkisson, 58, walked into the TVUUC sanctuary while the service was underway, and children and youth were on the stage performing Annie, Jr. Adkisson took a shotgun out of a guitar case and began shooting. As we write, two UUs attending the service have died: Greg McKendry on the scene and Linda Kraeger later at the hospital. Seven others are injured, five of them seriously. None of the children were hurt.

Adkisson was tackled and disarmed by the members. Another woman stood blocking entry to their quiet room so that the gunman would not be able to get to parents with small children. The shooters motive is not known. Members reported they had never seen Adkisson before.

Deadly violence against a church appalls all people of faith. And for us, these were our fellow UUs. UUA President Bill Sinkford has issued a pastoral statement and the UU Trauma Response Ministry have responded. As time goes by, we will let you know what you can do, or what this congregation might do for the members of this Knoxville congregation.

The two of us are available at home if you wish to speak to one of us ( ).

In the meantime, news of this incident is on news programs and on websites. Your children may hear about this incident. Because this happened in a UU congregation, they may wonder if they will be safe at UUFG. The UU Trauma Response Ministry website has some resources on responding to children in these situations. You might also want to have your children draw pictures or make cards to send to the children of TVUUC. Knowing that others are thinking of them is important at this time.

We are honored to be in this faith with you and share with you this instantaneous connection to our neighboring congregations and to those who might be suffering and aching with anxiety. It is good to have each other, in these times, for all times.

In faith,
Meredith and LoraKim

Rev. Meredith Garmon, PhD, & Rev. LoraKim Joyner, DVM
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville

Posted by:

Shelby Havens
UU Connections Committee Chair

Anonymous said...

From a member of UUCWC in Titusville, New Jersey:

During this time of shock and sadness tresulting from the tragic events at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, many of us may feel moved to reflect upon these events as well as extend our love, care, and support to the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist congregants and members of the larger community in an active way. A table will be set up in our lobby at The Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing (UUCWC)so that those moved to do so may create Origami peace cranes with messages included to be sent to Tennessee as a symbol of peace and comfort. The table will be available at UUCWC from Saturday, August 2 through Sunday, August 10.

My heart, thoughts, and prayers gently encompass all who are suffering as a result of what happened in Tennessee this past Sunday morning.

With Peace and Love,
Liz Lacey-Osler

It is not a matter of thinking much, but of loving much. So do whatever most kindles love in you.

Saint Teresa of Avila

sunflowering said...

With love from Birmingham, Alabama

As we all continue to grieve and attempt to comprehend this weekend's tragedy in Knoxville, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham will hold a candle-light vigil this Thursday night at 7:30 pm in the UUCB sanctuary. Please join us as we honor those in Knoxville and as we join together in community and ministry. Ruth Vann Lillian will officiate the vigil.

Rev. Bill Neely said...

Neshoba UU Church in Cordova, TN is holding a vigil Wednesday evening at 6:30 in our Sanctuary. All are welcome.

Anonymous said...

The First Church and Parish in Dedham, Massachusetts will be holding a service on Sunday, August 3rd in honor of our fellow UU's in Knoxville.

Mary Beth said...

I just wanted to offer my condolence's and prayers to all the Members and Congragation of the Knoxville UU Church. We are all children of our Heavenly Parents and nobody has the right to think that no matter how bad their own life is they have the right to cause injury, pain physically or mentally or take the life of another brother or Sister.

My thought's are also with the offenders family for he must have some one special somewhere that is now suffering also because of what he has done.

There is no place in this earthly home of ours for violence and hate to keep spreading we must remember we are all brothers and sisters no matter what our difference's is either color, race, gender, beliefs in religion or other wise.

Stay Safe my Knoxville brothers and sisters and know you are loved by all.

David and Leslie said...

Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church will hold a vigil on Wednesday, July 30, at 6:30 and will be collecting for the UU fund that has been set up. Our hearts go out to our sister community.

Anonymous said...

I was glad to see a listing of vigils and services on the UUA website and am hoping that a link will be posted on the main page of this blog as soon as possible since I have directed our congregational families to this blog. In the meantime, here is the link:

I also saw on the UUA website additional letters of support posted:

It is with great sadness that I learned on Sunday of the shooting. My prayers and thoughts continue to be with our siblings in faith in TN.

Andrea Hewitt-Gibson said...

From the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville:

"Our hearts go out to our friends and neighbors at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church for the recent tragedy that they have suffered...We stand together on the side of love.

At 7 P.M. Wednesday evening we will hold an open space for quiet reflection, prayer, and connection in the face of this tragedy with a simple service in the sanctuary. Pastoral caregivers will be on-hand to companion those who would like to talk through their emotions about this horrific event, and we are also available anytime via email or telephone should the need arise."

My heart is so heavy with grief and sadness right now...may we all find more peace, more love, and more hope in the coming days.

Anonymous said...

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula (Newport News VA) will hold a service in solidarity for the people of TVUCC at 7PM Wed.

Alex said...

Dear companions in liberal religious faith,

We of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Yakima, Washington held a service of solidarity and shared grieving yesterday at 4 p.m. Pacific time. We chose that time to express shared companionship with the TVUUC community and so many other UU's from around the world. A group of all ages from our long time UU community here in central Washington State met for an hour, sang, shared our feelings and silence, and also wrote letters to the congregation at TVUUC. I will be sending those letters from our group to TVUUC early next week after others who could not attend yesterday have an opportunity to write their own comments. We shared many of our letters aloud and I can say that they were moving, compassionate for all victims of this tragedy, and determined also to hold high our values of tolerance, open-heartedness, and the willingness to face the terrible suffering that all people experience when the purposes and dreams of their lives are dashed.

Sincerely and faithfully yours,

Rev. Alex Holt, Consulting Minister
Unitarian Universalist Church of Yakima, WA

Revd. Eilidh Campbell St. John said...

Unitarians in Tasmania Australia are holding Knoxville UUs in the Light and in our hearts. A vigil was held on Wednesday July 30. Robert Weston's "Song of Life" was read. The Unitarian and other Dissenters Chaplaincy at University of Tasmania will hold a short vigil before classes on Tuesday August 5.

gail said...

First Unitarian Society in Madison,WI held a vigil/memorial service Wednesday, July 30, at 5:30. We are thinking of and praying for those who were injured, whether physically or emotionally, especially the children. Our UU children are our confidence in the future. Surviving such a tragedy without hate is a difficult task.

Paul Kent Oakley said...

Mt. Vernon (IL) UU Fellowship, an emerging congregation with 20 members, will have a special service dedicated to the victims of the shooting at Tennessee Valley UUC on Sunday, August 3, at 10:00 AM. The religion page of our local paper will let those neighbors we don't know so well know about this special service. We trust that many in our community will join together with -at least in spirit- in response to this tragedy and in support of the victims.

Anonymous said...

A meditation in support of the Tennessee Valley UU Church was held tonight, Wednesday, July 30 at 7:30 at the Sepulveda UU Society("the Onion" in North Hills, CA). We send love and healing energy to the Unitarian Universalist Churches in Tennessee.

Anastasia said...

Our service at First UU Nashville last night was beautiful and moving. We sang songs that we had sung before but they took on new meaning. We have some close connections with Tennessee Valley and one of their members who is in Nashville for the summer attended. I was very glad we were able to come together in support for each other last night.

Dawn said...

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northfield, MN held a Service of Prayer and Solidarity on Thursday, July 31 at 7:30pm.

Anonymous said...

The UU Congregation at Rock Tavern (UUCRT) sends its love and prayers to the people of TVUUC. We shared in silent remembrance and lit our chalice in solidarity with the people of TVUUC, in a rededication to the principles we share and stand for as UU's during our worship service this past Sunday (August 4th). We are sending you our deepest care and hopes for healing.