Media roundup: Honoring victims of Las Vegas shooting and making space for mourning

Media roundup: Honoring victims of Las Vegas shooting and making space for mourning

A weekly guide to stories about Unitarian Universalists from other media sources.

Rachel Walden


Community Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasco, Washington, held a candlelight vigil to mourn the violence and the victims of the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. The congregation’s minister, the Rev. Doak Mansfield, said the focus of the vigil was mourning; there will be a time for answers and organizing, but first we need to mourn for everything our country has experienced in recent weeks. ( – 10.5.17)

A group of clergy in Marblehead, Massachusetts, organized a vigil for victims of the shooting. The Rev. Wendy Von Courter of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Marblehead spoke at the event and urged people not to give up on the fight for justice. “I beg us all to claim our power and keep it relentlessly present, and do what we can when many, including ourselves, have not,” von Courter said. ( – 10.5.17)

The Rev. Chris Buice of Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, was included in a collection of statements from local leaders in response to the Las Vegas shooting. His congregation experienced a tragic shooting in 2008, in which two people were killed and six others injured. Congregation members had recently gathered to write cards and letters to members of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville, which experienced a violent shooting a week ago. (Knoxville News Sentinel – 10.2.17)

More coverage

“Activists call for gun law changes at Naperville vigil for Las Vegas victims” ( Chicago Tribune – 10.3.17)

“Remembering the victims of the Las Vegas massacre” ( Michigan Public Radio – 10.3.17)

“Central Illinois honoring victims of Las Vegas shooting” ( Fox Illinois – 10.2.17)

Read a statement from UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray.

Congregational collections, exhibits, and programs make news

The Frederick, Maryland, chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans has stepped up to house a rare collection of more than 3,000 Pagan books and other items formerly held by a Washington, D.C., Pagan community center. The collection’s estimated value is $37,800 and contains rare and out of print books spanning a wide range of Pagan practices. ( The Wild Hunt– 10.4.17)

Photographers Jeff Pearcy and Randy Ballweg will be exhibiting a series of photos of Cuba at the gallery in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County in Ephraim, Wisconsin. Pearcy is a former Unitarian Universalist Service Committee staffer who documented crises in the Philippines, Detroit, and Texas. He is also showing a series of photographs at the congregation’s gallery called “Our TRANS Family” to spotlight images of transgender people and their families. ( Greenbay Press-Gazette – 10.3.17)

In Manhasset, New York, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock will be holding a self-defense class to help people respond safely to prejudice. The idea grew out of the congregation’s experience watching Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War about Martha and the Rev. Waitstill Sharp’s efforts to rescue Jews and refugees from Europe during WWII. Inspired by their example, the congregation has also formed a task force to work with refugee families on Long Island. ( The Island Now – 10.4.17)