Church Leaders Call for Community Prayer Vigil

Leaders from several foothills churches are calling for a community prayer vigil for those who are being affected by the situation in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East. The community prayer vigil will take place on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church at La Crescenta, 4441 La Crescenta Ave.

“We cannot stand by and do nothing. And while there seems to be so little that we can do, we can gather together as a community in solidarity with those suffering in that part of the world and pray for those who are enduring such unspeakable horrors,” said Pastor Bill Flanders, one of the vigil organizers.

The reports coming out of Iraq are heartbreaking. Children are being beheaded, men crucified or hung, women raped. And this is not just being reported by outside sources; the Islamic state is posting videos of these atrocities on YouTube.

“This is pure evil,” said Mark Yeager of the YMCA chaplaincy. “As Edmund Burke put it, ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ What these people have done to these children, to these families, is pure evil. We want to invite the good people of the Crescenta Valley to offer prayers and to make a statement of protest against this evil.”

“Many in our community have personal experiences of having a loved one murdered by a terrorist act. They know firsthand the pain that these families are experiencing. We want to wrap our arms around every family that is or has suffered because of these kinds of heinous acts,” added Pastor Saro Khachikian.

Everyone who is concerned is invited. Candles will be provided, as well as childcare for children under 8. The short program (approximately 30 minutes) will include readings and prayers by various church leaders, special music, videos and a candle lighting ceremony. For more information call (818) 249-5832.