Chicagoans offer prayers for Arizona victims

January 9, 2011

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Members of the Gurdwara Sahib Temple of Chicago held special prayers for the shooting victims. (WBEZ/ Odette Yousef)

Just as people around the country followed news of the shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others this weekend, Chicagoans were among those praying for their recovery. Members of the Gurdwara Sahib Temple of Chicago, a Sikh temple on Chicago’s far North Side, convened a special prayer for the victims on Sunday.

Shiva Singh Khalsa believes their prayers will make a difference not only for those who were shot and their families, but for the couple dozen worshipers who participated. “We all were affected by it,” said Khalsa. “We needed to pray about it, we needed to be in an environment where we remembered the grace, the vastness of the infinite of god, and that it's not all horrible, it's not all bad, it's not all deranged people with guns.”

The service was at the request of Northside businessman Balvinder Singh, who contributes heavily to local and national Democrats. Singh met Giffords and her husband last year. “She's such a nice woman,” remembered Singh, “and her husband, they're very nice people. Very friendly.” Singh invited several Illinois representatives to the service. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky attended.