October online edition
Students unite to form one voice of hope
Ramesh C. Reddy
terrorism rocked the United States of America, more than 300 students from the
Pittsburgh community congregated outside Heinz Chapel’s patio overlooking the
Cathedral of Learning around 10:00 pm on a Tuesday night for a prayer vigil.
Dan Kirk, a campus minister for
the Greater Pittsburgh Church of Christ who decided to have this vigil with
members of his ministry was surprised to see the turnout.
“Originally few of us were going
to get together to pray and the next thing I know fliers were being passed out
by someone not even affiliated with our ministry. It was powerful to see how
people of different backgrounds can be unified. I was expecting 20-30 people and
it turned out to 300”, said Kirk.
Greg Vost, a Pitt freshman came
because he heard people talking about it and was touched.
“I thought it was great how it turned out. “[I
was] surprised how many people showed up. It was touching.
Around 6:00 pm, Michael Guss, a
Pitt senior found out about the vigil and decided to go to Kinko’s to make
fliers that he passed out across campus. The flier mentioned that the prayer
vigil was for victims of the terrible tragedy and it would be held in front of
the Heinz Chapel on the Cathedral lawn.
He invited people from all walks
“The students on campus need a vigil”, said Guss.
The vigil started out with the
songs, ‘Amazing Grace’ ‘Unto thee Oh Lord, do I lift up my soul’
and ‘Humble thyself in the presence of the Lord.’
As people of different religions
and ethnicity continued to pour in for the vigil, the prayer time began with
Excerpts from Psalm 23 state
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me
to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He
restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's
sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil: for thou art with me.” (Psalm 23, KJV)
The prayer time focused on 3
different areas in which 7 different volunteers within the crowd were chosen to
lead each area of prayer. They prayed for the victims & families after Psalm 23
was read, world leaders after 1 Timothy 2:1-4 was read, and for God’s glory to
be shown reflecting on John 9:1-3 was read.
Throughout the prayer time only 31
people decided to leave. The vigil ended 11:10 pm with a reading from 1 John
is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath
torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he
first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar:
for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom
he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God
love his brother also.” (1 John 4:1, KJV)
After it was over students from
different universities responded with positive thoughts.
“I think the most important thing
was that people from different faiths: Hindus, Jews, Muslims, [and] Christians
came together and hopefully this can happen one day in Jerusalem and throughout
the world”, said Guss.
Missy Vensel, a grad student was
attending from Robert Morris College.
“I definitely think [it is]
inspiring no matter what background and religion to come together to be unified
as a campus and people”, said Vensel.
Karintha Tervalon, a junior at
Chatam College echoed her sentiments.
“I feel like tonight was awesome
because people were there from different places to turn to God in a tough time”,
After the vigil Robert Ness, a
Pitt sophomore reacted in the Towers lobby regarding the vigil.
“I liked the encouragement of the
theme of unity, being peaceful and not jumping towards violence, empathy towards
the Arab community. I knew people involved in the tragedy”, said Ness.
Becky Williams, a junior at Chatam College
echoed Ness’ views.
“We could empathize with one another and [have]
sympathy and praying for one another was great”, said Williams.
Give us your feedback
if you agree or disagree
View other reader's