Crown Point preschoolers and parishioners show support for Ukraine | Lake County News
CROWN POINT — Preschoolers as young as 3 years old helped plant small Ukrainian flags in front of the First United Methodist Church on Wednesday.
The 250 yellow and blue flags were placed in support of those living in Ukraine who were attacked by the Russians, Pastor Mark Wilkins said.
“Peace to Ukraine and peace to the world,” Wilkins said as part of a short prayer after the flags were placed.
Some 29 preschoolers, ages 3 to 5, from the churches’ Play and Learn Preschool helped with the placement, principal Karen Artim said.
Artim said an in-depth discussion, based on the age of the children, will take place.
“We will tell them that Ukrainians should be kept in our thoughts,” Artim said.
The placement of flags in the ground by preschoolers and church parishioners was a prelude to the community prayer meeting held at 6:30 p.m. on the church lawn.
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Another 200 Ukrainian flags were to be placed around Crown Point’s downtown plaza, Wilkins said.
“As a community, a nation and the world, we have all been horrified by the events in Ukraine over the past few weeks. The cost in terms of human suffering, as well as loss of freedom and freedom has been heartbreaking for us to watch. , leaving us sad and frustrated,” Wilkins said in a message sent to parishioners at the church.
Wilkins first said he was just going to fly the Ukrainian flag outside the church, then he came up with the idea for multiple flags.
“It was the snowball effect… We all watched the news and felt helpless and didn’t know what to do,” Wilkins said.
His next thought was to invite people to church to pray.
“(The idea) got bigger and bigger and it evolved into everything,” Wilkins said.
The event is not without precedent as the church has already held prayer vigils, including one for school shootings.
The church also holds an annual 9/11 community service to honor law enforcement, first responders and victims.
“We try to make this area as busy as possible,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins said the intention of the church is to give community members a place to show their support and uplift Ukraine and the world in prayer.
Leslie Essex, a parishioner from the church, came out on Wednesday to help place the flags in the ground.
“I can’t come tonight so I wanted a way to help. It’s a tragedy what they’re going through there so we’re going to show solidarity,” Essex said.
Another parishioner, Clark Kramer, echoed his sentiments by helping to place flags on the ground.
“I came to show our solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” Kramer said.