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.”