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Local Christian community offers prayers for Lauren Spierer’s family


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By Zach Ammerman





Ministers from multiple Bloomington-area churches lead prayers at a vigil at the Evangelical Community Church. Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan also spoke, and IU Dean of Students Harold “Pete” Goldsmith was also in attendance. The event was organized by Spirit 95, a Bloomington based Christian radio station.

In his opening prayer at the vigil, Robert Whitaker, senior pastor of the ECC, asked for God to give comfort to the Spierer family and all those who grieve after the disappearance of Lauren Spierer. “The world you created perfect is now marred by violence and decay,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker also prayed that all in the Bloomington community remain vigilant for information that could be pertinent to the case. He asked that God “trouble the conscience of those who know something about Lauren’s disappearance.”

“We pray that if anyone — anyone — has any information, to step out of the shadows of darkness,” Dennis Abrams, a member of Kairos Ministry, said.

Mayor Kruzan spoke after Abrams. “The right words literally don’t exist,” Kruzan said about Lauren’s disappearance. “We are at a loss to understand how this could happen in Bloomington.” He described the event as a surreal experience for the family and friends of Lauren Spierer.

Mayor Kruzan also offered some insight into the character of the Spierer family.
Kruzan explained that Robert and Charlene Spierer, Lauren’s parents, have been involved in daily meetings with the police and the mayor since their daughter’s disappearance.

The first weekend after Lauren’s disappearance, Mayor Kruzan said that Lauren’s parents and the police were discussing what time to hold the meeting on Saturday. Robert wanted the meeting to be at 9:30 a.m., Kruzan said, because it would give the officers time to eat breakfast with their families in the morning.

On Father’s Day, Robert and Charlene insisted that the officers spend time with their children and their families. They even offered not to meet with police that day to give officers extra time to do so because they felt it was so important.
 “That is the quality of the people we are praying for,” Kruzan said as he ended his segment of the vigil.

John Mangram, senior associate pastor of the ECC, said that even though most people in this community do not know the Spierers and never met Lauren, their prayers and support are still powerful.

"Our prayers are the most powerful, they mean the most, when we are praying for someone who is not known to us.”

After the vigil was over, Robert and Charlene Spierer embraced members of the public in attendance at the vigil.

“You can often know the true fabric of a community by how it responds in difficult times. We are forever grateful for what everyone has done. The people of Bloomington should feel very proud,” Robert told members of the press after the vigil.

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Bloomington mayor Mark Kruzan speaks during a vigil for Lauren Spierer on June 30 at Evangelical Community Church. Alex Farris Buy Photos
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Jane Hoeppner speaks during a vigil for Lauren Spierer on June 30 at Evangelical Community Church. Hoeppner is the wife of former IU head football coach Terry Hoeppner, who died of complications from a brain tumor June 19, 2007. Alex Farris Buy Photos
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An audience member raises his hands as Bishop Dr. William McCoy speaks during a vigil for Lauren Spierer on June 30 at Evangelical Community Church. Alex Farris Buy Photos
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Charlene and Robert Spierer listen during a vigil for Lauren Spierer on June 30 at Evangelical Community Church. Alex Farris Buy Photos
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Joel Niese hugs Robert Spierer during a vigil for Robert's daughter Lauren on June 30 at Evangelical Community Church. Joel is the Director of Campus Ministries at the church. Alex Farris Buy Photos
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Robert Spierer talks with the media after a vigil for his daughter Lauren on June 30 at Evangelical Community Church. Alex Farris Buy Photos

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