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Day of Service on MLK Day at LAMP

    

Published 2018-01-18




MLK Day at LAMP

 

For a year I have helped to plan a Day of Service on MLK Day at LAMP (Linwood Avenue Ministry Place). Here is a picture someone took of the 200 children, youth and adults who gathered Monday to make Beds of Bags for the homeless. Each BOB is made from 1100 discarded grocery store bags tied and braided together to make mats, which are light, waterproof and provide insulation.

For those familiar with Kansas City I’m sure while driving south Bruce R. Watkins/71 highway you have noticed the big old abandoned brick church building on Linwood Boulevard. That was the old Linwood Avenue Presbyterian Church built in 1929 when the congregation topped 2000. The funeral for Russell Stover, founder of the famous candy company and a long time active member of Linwood Pres., was held there in 1954.  800 people attended. But by 1975 the church had dwindled to less than 200 members who merged with the Methodists down the street and boarded up the building.

What happened between 1955 and 1975 was redlining and block busting, the unethical (dare I say ‘evil’) real estate practices which transformed the neighborhood. The church was at ground zero for White Flight in the 60’s. 

The building was abandoned for 40 years and fell into disrepair with no prospects of renovation.

The building was resurrected by a very creative use of Historic Tax Credits to become LAMP. It is filled with programs that serve the Ivanhoe neighborhood around it, which is now the most economically challenged in the city.  As someone says of LAMP, “It is no longer a church, it is ‘the’ church.”

To have 200 people gather in the name of mission, the church and Dr. King, the vast majority of whom were born after MLK was assassinated 50 years ago was unbelievable. Thanks to all who planned, came from from Pine Ridge and over 20 other churches who helped to make Dr King’s Dream a little more real.

Here is a link to a news story shot by Don Proctor, a video journalist and a Pine Ridge member:

http://fox4kc.com/2018/01/15/more-than-200-volunteers-from-20-congregations-gather-to-make-beds-out-of-shopping-bags-for-homeless/

Peace+
Jim




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