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602 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
Thank you very much for your coverage of our third year since the shooting. Your staff did a fine job in sensitively portraying where we, TVUUC, is three years later. Your hard work was evident in that of the many you interviewed, those who represented different facets were the ones you published. Thank you.
I would like to add to your excellent coverage that where we are today owes much to the support we received, starting with our own local faith communities. A little more than 24 hours after the shooting, hundreds streamed into a quickly called service at our next-door neighbor, Second Presbyterian. Though a menacing storm hit just as the throngs arrived, neither that downpour nor lightning deterred a single soul from expressing their support in person.
In the days, weeks, and months that followed, such expressions of love and support continued. Second Presbyterian, with help from many, fed all after the Monday service and for days thereafter. Cedar Springs Presbyterian sent food for many for weeks. From the hundreds of Thank You notes I witnessed that were sent out later, I know that regardless of differences in faith, all, especially those in our local community, were united in their loving support of us.
So on the occasion of three years later, I want to add to the coverage of MP by thanking our own Knoxville community for its support. Thank you one and all.
One final note to close my addition to MP’s coverage. The Ancient Greeks got it right in my opinion when they banished those who violated the community’s values. Banishment was not simply putting a transgressor outside the city walls; they were banished from any human contact. No one would shelter, feed, or even address the banished; they became the living dead. They couldn’t even speak as no one would listen.
Banishment is what I practice with the “shooter” at TVUUC. I will not even give him a name. I suggest MP do the same. The story about the shooting is not about the shooter but about the violation of sacred space and those within it.