Community offers prayers for Las Vegas

Community offers prayers for Las Vegas


On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the towns of Durham and Middlefield offered special prayer services for the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and the nation.

The United Churches of Durham held a prayer service at 6 p.m. and the Middlefield Federated Church held a candlelight vigil one hour later. Both events were advertised as “community-wide” or non-denominational to draw non-parishioners.

The Reverend Jeanette Hicks presided over the service at the United Churches of Durham, which featured prayers and music. Lisa Larsen played the piano and sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and Susan Peak led a group rendition of the gospel hymn “In the Garden,” accompanying herself on guitar.

Some of the songs or prayers at the United Churches of Durham were non-specific words of comfort. Durham First Selectman Laura Francis led a prayer specific to Las Vegas, asking for comfort for the victims, first responders and the community.

Hicks opened and closed the service. Acknowledging that some would say that prayers are not enough, the reverend said that prayers draw strength and heal and told the audience to leave as instruments of peace.

An instruction sheet, “Talking to Children about the Shooting,” from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and available at was handed out at the conclusion of the service.

At the Middlefield Federated Church, the Reverend Suzanne Personette gathered a circle of people outside the church for a candlelight vigil. Personette led the group in a prayer and the group observed a moment of silence opposite the Middlefield Community Center’s flag, flying half-staff in recognition of the tragedy.


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