This evening (Friday, December 4), the Azure Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church will hold a prayer vigil intended to help the communities around Loma Linda, San Bernardino and Redlands, California experience the emotions that have accompanied Wednesday's mass shooting, and to begin the healing process.
The Azure Hills Church is located in Grand Terrace, California, a community adjacent to San Bernardino where Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik went on a shooting spree that resulted in fourteen dead and many more wounded.
Adjunct La Sierra University Religion faculty member and former Azure Hills pastor Marlene Ferreras, who is helping the pastoral staff plan the vigil, says the intent is to offer "sacred communal space to process our grief and loss as a community in light of the event."
Alger Keough, Pastor for Community at Azure Hills says the vigil will focus on the various emotions that people may have experienced during and after the shooting took place, focusing particularly on shock, sadness, anger, and hope. The service will include readings highlighting each of the emotions, and the names of the fourteen vitcims will be read aloud with candles lit for each victim.
Keough said they plan to involve first responders, reporters, congregation members, and pastors in the vigil.
Doors will open at 6:30pm, and the service will begin at 7:00pm. Members of all surrounding communities, and people of all faiths are welcome to attend.
The Azure Hills Church is located at 22633 Barton Road in Grand Terrace, California.