The vigil was small, but the message was clear: stop the violence, stop the hate, stop the madness.
The Rev. Nancy Bacon of Tehachapi Community Congregational Church opened a vigil Tuesday evening with a prayer written by the Rev. Susan A. Blain, of the Faith Formation Ministry Team, called "A prayer for Las Vegas."
Bacon read, "An evening of peace and celebration undone by violence; A community of music and playfulness scattered in fear. Your people in Las Vegas cry out to you. Your people throughout Tehachapi echo their cry: Hear our prayer."
Following the opening prayer, Bacon tapped a bell 59 times for the souls lost in Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas, then tapped the bell an additional six times, with the first five chimes for each 100 individuals who were hurt in the melee and the final chime for the remaining injured.
Those in attendance sat in a circle and were invited by the pastor to share their prayers and light a candle.
Some prayed for the victims who were brutally shot and lost their lives, others prayed for the injured and for their recovery, including Rachel Sheppard, of Tehachapi, who was critically injured after being shot three times by the gunman.
There were prayers for the first responders who risked their own lives to help the fallen, and prayers for the doctors and nurses who continue to work tirelessly to repair the damage done to survivors.
The prayers then turned toward a nation in trouble, and, in particular, for gun control.
"The problem goes beyond intolerance for guns," said one woman, who did not give her name. "We should have intolerance for hate instead."
Bacon urged the faithful to "rise up and become involved" by writing their congressman with their concerns.
"Together, we can make a difference," urged Bacon.
The vigil wound down as the circle of prayer seekers stood and held hands and together sang "Lean On Me" by artist Bill Withers (1972): "Sometimes in our lives we all have pain; we all have sorrow. But if we are wise, we know that there's always tomorrow."