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Archive for Saturday, August 6, 2011

Faith leaders show SRS support at vigil

August 6, 2011

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Vigil for SRS

An interfaith prayer vigil was held outside Plymouth Congregational Church Saturday. Enlarge video

The Rev. Peter Luckey speaks to a crowd from the front entrance of Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt., during an interfaith prayer vigil on Saturday to lament the closing of the Lawrence office of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

The Rev. Peter Luckey speaks to a crowd from the front entrance of Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt., during an interfaith prayer vigil on Saturday to lament the closing of the Lawrence office of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

A crowd of of about 50 people gathered Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, during an interfaith prayer vigil at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt., to lament the closing of the Lawrence office of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

A crowd of of about 50 people gathered Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, during an interfaith prayer vigil at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt., to lament the closing of the Lawrence office of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

Pennie Von Achen, left, Eudora, sits on the front steps to listen Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, during an interfaith prayer vigil at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt., to lament the closing of the Lawrence office of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

Pennie Von Achen, left, Eudora, sits on the front steps to listen Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, during an interfaith prayer vigil at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt., to lament the closing of the Lawrence office of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

Faith leaders from across the Lawrence community spoke at a prayer vigil Saturday morning at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt., to support keeping the Lawrence Social and Rehabilitation Services office open.

“We want (state officials) to feel the weight of the responsibility to the vulnerable,” said Moussa Elbayoumy, who spoke to about 60 attendees as a representative of the Islamic Center of Lawrence. Elbayoumy was joined by speakers from the Jewish, Unitarian, Catholic and other Christian communities in Lawrence.

The potential closing of the SRS office has remained a hot topic locally after state officials announced July 1 the closure of the local office — along with eight others in Kansas — as a cost-saving measure. Social service advocates and community officials say the closure will have a significantly negative effect on access to services for the disabled and needy.

By design, Saturday’s vigil was held about the same time as a controversial prayer event in Houston, called “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis,” which Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback attended.

Rev. Peter Lucky, pastor at Plymouth, said the local vigil was designed to highlight local interfaith support for the SRS office.

“This is what prayer looks like for us,” he said. “This is where we need to be paying attention.”

Comments

ksriver2010 2 years, 11 months ago

The dude in the monk robes looks awesome!

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ksriver2010 2 years, 11 months ago

On a more serious note, it is tragic that Brownback would cut funding to SRS in Lawrence, and it smacks of political opportunism. I would call churches to step up in the vacuum. Not just to lament the cutting of government services, but to return to your true calling of taking care of the needs of the poor. I think that the faith leaders at this function understand that, but most of their contemporaries do not. It is not building megachurches on the outskirts of town, or having mega-prayer services like that happening in Houston that Perry hosted and Brownback attended.

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chootspa 2 years, 11 months ago

That assumes that churches around here aren't already doing the most they can with what they have.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 11 months ago

But it begs the question, if the government gave money to these faith based organizations, could they then do more with that money. Could they get volunteers from amongst their congregation to do the work that state employees now do (and by the way, the work that faith based organizations did for many years of human history and only recently by the state). Of course, we then have that sticky separation of church and state to deal with. It's a fine line but not one in which a certain way of thinking has to exclude another way of thinking. With representatives of many faiths on hand, it seems that these good people could try to walk that fine line, provide services to the needy if that is their calling and the state could assist them and save itself some money in the process.

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Jonathan Fox 2 years, 11 months ago

I must say, this is an incredibly effective idea you have, but I don't think they'll go fo it. Seperation of Church and State is a very hot topic for the athiests and agnostics out there.

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ksriver2010 2 years, 11 months ago

No, I commend the churches represented here. I was stating more generally.

For example, 100-150 years ago most hospitals were setup by churches or church-based charities (St. Francis/St. Joe/Wesley in Wichita come to mind). Nowadays someone goes to the church for help and they are referred to a gov't agency for help. The church can then move to the burbs, build that bigger building and ensure that their members don't have to sit next to homeless and downtrodden folks.

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gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps these people and Brownback can have a pray-off. If the SRS office closes, god must be against these people and for Brownback. If it stays open, the reverse would be true. They need to schedule this before football starts because that is when god gets busy with supporting some colleges over others.

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Irenaku 2 years, 11 months ago

ksriver2010: That would be Fr. John, from St. John's Catholic Church on Kentucky. Wonderful priest!!!

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chootspa 2 years, 11 months ago

More of this. He doesn't care what poor or disabled people have to say about it, and he doesn't care that what he's doing isn't fiscally sound, but he might start to care when the churches are publicly calling him out on his ethics. Not because he has ethics, mind you, but because it tarnishes his image with his base.

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Fossick 2 years, 11 months ago

The utility of such prayer vigils is that they undeniably illustrate the actual god to which these 'faith leaders' pray: the false god of government.

I remember when Jesus held a prayer vigil because he wanted Caesar to "to feel the weight of the responsibility to the vulnerable.” That was awesome.

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Jean Robart 2 years, 11 months ago

sorry fossick, they are not praying to the God of government(if there is one), but they are praying to the God of the Universe.

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Fossick 2 years, 11 months ago

From whom are they asking, "Give us this day our daily bread?"

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Jeff Barclay 2 years, 11 months ago

Tragic how some (definitley not all) that were there speaking out "on behalf of the vulnerable" have also referenced abortion as women's health care. Who is more vulnerable than a baby in it's mother's womb? Let's be consistent. May the interfaith community begin serving and working on behalf of all the vulnerable, born or unborn.

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redneck 2 years, 11 months ago

Do you really think Brownback specifically said to close the Lawrence SRS office? No, he simply cut funding to the program and SRS or Medicaid chose to, or is thinking about closing this office. This country has to get our spending under control! And if the funding is cut, they will have to decrease how much they spend. Government programs ALWAYS spend every friggin dime they are alloted, wheather it's necessary or not. How many people do you suppose are using the system, rather than getting a job? I believe there are a lot of people, who are using the system. This has to stop! I have no problem helping those who cannot help themselves, but it is not right to help people who are too lazy to get a job. You may think I'm an uncaring person, but I could be on disability as i'm pecking this message. I have chosen to keep working, because that is right thing to do. How many people do you suppose go through a lawyer (not sure what they have to do), so SRS can take care of them or their loved one at a tune of 3 or 4 grand per month, and then SRS cannot take their property when they leave this world. I'm not just talking about somebody who ownes a house and a car. I'm speaking of people who have a farm, business, etc., and are worth hundreds of thousands. It's only fair that they be able to recoupe some of the expense, once me and my spouse pass away.

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redneck 2 years, 11 months ago

I know cutting this program sucks, but we have to draw the line somewhere. This country can no longer spend, and spend, and spend, and spend, and spend. This spending has to stop. This is not the only program that is being cut.

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Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

I say we tax churches 30% in Lawrence and use that money to fund the SRS. Are you "faith leaders" willing to put your money where your mouths are? We can even call it "The Jesus Loves You Tax".

Maybe we should also tax the churches in Topeka to pay for a gay pride extravaganza too. God hates underfunded parades.

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