In wake of Orlando mass shooting, Lawrence interfaith vigil to be held in South Park

photo by: John Young

The steps of the South Park gazebo are are lined with candles and a sign that reads, Orlando

Leaders of local congregations and civil rights organizations will hold an interfaith vigil Wednesday night in response to an attack Sunday that killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

The vigil will begin at 6 p.m. at the gazebo in South Park, 1141 Massachusetts St.

The event is open to all and is intended to be “a public witness to love and compassion,” according to a press release sent out by organizers. Attendees are invited to bring a candle.

“What we feel and wish to express goes far beyond deep grief,” Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, United Church of Christ, said in a statement. “There is also enormous anger and profound rage that once again beautiful and innocent people have been violated in this horrible way; and that homophobia continues to threaten the safety and sanctity of another person’s right to pursue happiness.”

These members of the community and others will speak at the event, according to the release:

• Rev. Dr. Peter A. Luckey of Plymouth Congregational Church

• Rev. Eleanor B. McCormick of Plymouth Congregational Church

• Moussa Elbayoumy, board chairman of the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

• Enrique Penaloza of Reunión Libertad

“Horrific acts of violence like this have absolutely no justification,” Elbayoumy said in a statement. “The Muslims of Kansas stand side by side with the rest of the faith community in solidarity with their fellow Americans in condemning the horrible mass shooting on Sunday.”