Candlelight Vigil

Sunday February 4, 2018

Candlelight Vigil remembering Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, and Dean Lisowick.


At an emotional candlelight vigil on Sunday night, we gathered to remember five men as members of our community — not just victims.

We remembered Majeed Kayhan, who loved Bollywood movies and dancing, and Andrew Kinsman, a community figure who volunteered at an AIDS support group and was always willing to lend a helping hand if you were in need.

Reverend Deana Dudley also lit a sixth candle to remind us that police believe there are still victims to be identified. “We also remember that there are others still missing and there may be more victims before this nightmare ends,” said Rev. Dudley. The vigil was planned by our Pastor of Evening Services, Rev. Sandra (sam) Morris.

The other men we remembered include Selim Esen, who had immigrated from Turkey in search of a more accepting country; Dean Lisowick, a gentle soul who’d be the first to help people in times of need; and Sorush Mahmudi, who left behind a wife and two children.

Senior Pastor Jeff Rock used the candlelight vigil to emphasize solidarity and support for marginalized communities in the wake of the tragedy.

“This isn’t a gay tragedy, this isn’t a race tragedy, this isn’t a gender tragedy. This is a human tragedy. This is a tragedy for our city and for our country and for our world,” said Rev. Rock.

The vigil attracted significant media attention from all across North America. Hundreds of people joined us in our Sanctuary, and over 3000 viewers joined us online to light a candle in grief and solidarity.


By Ashely Beard