By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (June 21, 2021) – In a small plaza dedicated to Lansing’s past, a group pf local citizens and leaders gathered Wednesday to pray for Lansing’s future.
Organized by the Lansing Community Coalition — a local group dedicated to fighting for equality, transparency, and social justice — the prayer vigil on Wednesday drew a crowd of about 20 at Lansing’s History Plaza at the corner of Ridge Road and Burnham Avenue. Present at the program was Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller as well as NAACP Chicago Far-South Suburban Branch president Gary Dingle and NAACP Hammond Branch president Homer Cobb.
A time for prayer
Reverend David Bigsby of In the Upper Room Ministries led the prayer-oriented program, and prayed along with a handful of others for Lansing and the world.
“The Bible tells us the effects of fervent prayer availeth much,” Bigsby said. “The Village of Lansing is very fortunate. The administration and those that work with the administration have been very blessed. They’ve done a fine job of keeping the criminality away from the village. But I contribute that also to the work of the Lord.”
After a brief opening prayer by Bigsby, Reverend Maverick Davis of In the Upper Room Ministries prayed for peace, saying, “Fill us, oh Father God, with your mercy so that we can, in turn, be merciful to others. Oh Father God, that we can be stripped of pride, suspicion, and also racism, so that we may seek peace — peace, dear Father, that surpasses all understanding.”
Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller also spoke at the event. Miller said she believes in the power of prayer and remembered her grandmother telling her, “I’m going to pray for you, and if you don’t know what to do, you better pray for yourself.”
Miller also praised the efforts of Lansing and Cook County during the pandemic, and recommended the COVID-19 vaccine for anyone who hasn’t yet received it. She also mentioned racial and economic disparities in the south suburbs that were further exposed during the pandemic.
After a few more prayers, Lansing Community Coalition President Elvis Slaughter thanked everyone for attending and promised more events like Wednesday’s.
Invitations to pray
In addition to inviting Commissioner Miller and the NAACP branch presidents, the Lansing Community Coalition also invited other local leaders to the prayer vigil, including Village of Lansing officials and law enforcement officials.
“It was no surprise to me that they didn’t come out,” Slaughter said. “But I know the power of prayer. You know, what we’re praying for is peace and unity within our community, and racial justice. … Even though they were not here, we still pray for them.”
Lansing History Park Plaza is located directly east of the Lansing Municipal Center, located at 3141 Ridge Road. More information about the Lansing Community Coalition is available on their Facebook page or by emailing [email protected].
- Lansing pastors, church members gather for prayer (June 1, 2020)