A candlelight vigil was held at the Chinese Reconciliation Park in Tacoma, Wash. Attendees from the local neighborhoods, local organizers, and ecumenical leadership listened to each other, sometimes over rumblings from the nearby railroad. Many of the speeches prompted dialog about fears, justice, privilege, and the future. If you need someone to talk to in regard to recent events, please speak with your congregations and pastoral leadership.

By Jesse N. Love | Additional Photos by Karen Yokota Love

“Why do we have such a difficult time showing compassion to our neighbors?”

This is just one important question Pastor Karen Yokota Love asked Mason United Methodist Church on Sunday, August 13. Many clergy on this particular day were certainly re-crafting their messages to address the aftermath of clashes at the University of Virginia over that weekend leaving one dead and 19 injured.

United Methodists including Pastor Karen, Jesse N. Love, Jim Davis, Nancy Davis, Cathlynn Law, Leslie Ann Knight, Nathan Hollifield, Abigail Vizcarra Perez and others attended a candlelight vigil held at the Chinese Reconciliation Park. The attendees prayed for victims of these clashes and listened to voices in the community. There was sadness, there was anger. But overall, there was a glimmer of hope that “We shall overcome, someday.”

Peaceful means. Dialogue. Education. These are just a few important things we need to consider to live with one another in a kin-dom where we will always have differences.

If you need someone to help process and listen, please reach out to your local church community and even share some of your ideas if you are called to.

Jesse N. Love serves as graphic designer & print manager for the PNWUMC.




  1. Your article writes of “the aftermath of clashes at the University of Virginia” and “victims of the clashes” without ever mentioning racism, as if the demonstrators and counter-demonstrators stood on equal moral ground. They did not. You write “we will always have differences”, but blatant and belligerent white supremacy is the kind of “difference” that compels us, as followers of Christ, to act justly and courageously.

    • Hi Rosanna. Jesse N. Love here — the author of this piece. First, thank you much for responding to this post. I think when I wrote it, I focused on the spirit of the event itself. I will admit, this was not meant to be an in-depth commentary on what had just happened in Charlottesville at the time. The visuals, the incidences, still had me in shock. I was out of town at a conference while things were unfolding so I had not even sifted through all the facts of what had happened – so I decided to focus on the moment and the spirit of this particular gathering, which was not Methodist-sponsored. My focus: Methodists in this neighborhood are ready to stand up and are ready to listen. The posts after this one helped flesh out more perspectives regarding racism and Charlottesville.

      When I wrote “we will always have differences,” I was actually quoting the Dalai Lama. Here’s the actual quote:

      ““Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

      I appreciate your input and I hope this makes it clear my intention was not to be morally ambiguous or flatten each side of this conflict so that everyone was on equal footing. -JNL

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