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'This country is in serious trouble': Hundreds pack Portland church to mourn gun violence

The Tuesday night vigil at Augustana Lutheran Church was held to remember the victims of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Hundreds packed Augustana Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland Tuesday night to remember the victims killed in the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

One by one the names of the victims were read aloud. Not one person in the crowded church was not moved by the senseless loss of life.

“I’m a mom, I’m a grandma,” said Ana Echeverria.

Echeverria is heartbroken by the violence. She and the others who attended the interfaith vigil want the madness to end.

“You have to have hope,” she said. “You have to keep fighting for people to treat each other right, to stop the hatred.”

“This country is in serious trouble and we need to figure out a way to have the conversation without bullets,” added Chris Hardman, another attendee.

That conversation started at the church. Faith leaders guided the important discussion to end gun violence.

“Christ never taught any of us about hating anybody,” said Rev. Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church. “We’re supposed to bring walls down and weave community.”

The vigil ended with people grabbing candles and filing out of the church.

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