NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A community vigil is planned at Belmont United Methodist Church for all those who wish to gather in prayer and grieve together, according to church officials.
Belmont University announced on Facebook that University Ministries will be holding a service of prayer and lament at the Bell Tower at 4 p.m.
The Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, Pastor in Residence for Community Engagement at Belmont UMC, said she and the church wanted to become a space for the community to grieve together if they needed it and be a place of healing for the community rocked by the morning’s deadly school shooting in Green Hills.
“We just wanted to respond to our community because we also have children who learn in our facility as well,” she told News 2.
The vigil is set for 6:30 p.m. at the church, located at 2007 Acklen Ave. All are welcome, regardless of denomination or affiliation.
“When people arrive this evening, they can come in the front doors of the sanctuary or the back door. We will just be sitting in prayer, holding space for our community, just creating a space where people can grieve together and gather ourselves so we can be working against gun violence,” she said. “Prayer is just the first step, and certainly actions will come after.”
Anyone needing a space to process the day’s events is encouraged to stop by and gather with the community.
“We want to live unto our baptismal vows resisting evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves,” McIntyre said.
The Rev. Paul Purdue, also of Belmont UMC, offered his condolences to those impacted by the shooting and welcomed anyone needing a place to gather in prayer to stop by the church.
“As people are hurting and processing their grief, I think prayer reminds us of who we are. It reminds us of God’s love and it connects us to one another,” he said. “I think it also calls us to respond and to stand up against our Baptismal vows, resisting evil and injustice and oppression.”
Following the prayer, Purdue said those gathered can look ahead to what’s next.
“After we have done that grief look around and say what is god calling us to do and how can we be more just in caring for one another,” he said.
Another vigil will be held at 7 p.m. at Bison Square at Lipscomb University.
And contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle announced she will also put together a prayer vigil at 7:30 p.m. at Marathon Music Works. Doors open at 6:30 for all those interested in attending. She was initially set to perform a concert at the venue Monday night but changed the plans to be a community prayer vigil.
“Today’s shooting is truly heartbreaking for our Nashville community and all of those impacted. I’m going to postpone my performance tonight, and in its place, host a community-wide Prayer Vigil. To everyone who was planning to come out, please join us as we share in a time of prayer and worship to honor the victims and everyone in need,” she said.
“To those in the local Nashville area, if you need a safe place to come pray, mourn, and be with your community, please join us. The doors are open for all. Same location. Same time.”
There is also a vigil planned in Mt. Juliet at the Clock Tower, the city announced on Facebook. That vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28. The event will be coordinated by local pastors and city officials in order to “provide a space for educators, students, first responders, and the general public to come together to grieve and pray.” All are welcome to attend.