The Longest Night Remembers Kansas City Homicide Victims

Notes on a worthy tradition and tragic tribute . . .

Here's the word from organizers & defense of homicide vigils . . .

The Longest Night

Again this year we will conduct the Longest Night service. It takes place on the longest night of the year December 21. 

In this event we seek to bring some level of comfort and compassion to the families of murder victims in our city. This year more than 200 individuals have been victims of homicide in the greater metropolitan area. 

The service is open the the public and will begin at 7 PM at the Wornall Road Baptist Church 400 W. Meyer Kansas City, Missouri.  

We have placed crosses on our church lawn with the name of every murder victim and the date of their homicide. This is a reminder to our entire city of the violence that plagues our streets.  It is also a reminder to the families of these victims that they are not forgotten.

I realize many people have disparaging things to say about memorial candlelight services. But I can tell you from personal experience these services have had positive impact on the families. 

The primary purpose of these services is to simply bring some level of comfort and healing to people who are deeply hurting. The second reason we do it is to remind ourselves that we live in a violent city and we must not quit combating that violence. The problems of violence in our city are complex and they are many. But ignoring them will only make them worse. This is our attempt to draw attention to them and to simply state we will not except this as normal in our city.

Mark Clifton
Senior Director Church Replanting 
North American Mission Board 
Southern Baptist Convention 

Read more via news links . . .

The Longest Night prayer service speaks to loss from homicides

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- This time of year is seen as one for joy, but for those who've lost loved ones, it can be a tough season. That's why one local pastor has turned the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, into a night of prayer for those who lost loved ones to homicide.

The Longest Night: Homicide victims in Jackson, Wyandotte County remembered

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For 10 years, Wornall Road Baptist Church has put crosses out for every homicide victim in Jackson County, Missouri. This year, the annual 'Longest Night' service included victims from Wyandotte County, Kansas, totaling more than 230 crosses. "It's a visual reminder to our city of the suffering many people are going through during Christmas.

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