Crosswalk Holds Silent Nights Vigil

December 13, 2012

contact: Rebecca Wilson, 330-524-2067,

Faith community will urge governor, legislature to pass sensible gun laws

CHICAGO, IL, December 13, 2012— CROSSwalk, which captured the imagination of Chicago residents committed to ending gun violence with a prayerful four-mile procession to Stroger Hospital during the Christian season of Lent, returns to the public eye with Silent Nights--an opportunity for people of all faiths to work and pray for nights whose silence is unbroken by gunfire.

The Silent Nights service will be held at 7 p. m. on Monday December 17 at First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 West Washington Boulevard. It will blend readings and songs with meditations on themes of peace. Following the service, participants will process to the steps of the church to sing the hymn Silent Night and receive candles to take to the members of their faith communities.

"We are asking people to decorate the candles with messages urging Governor Pat Quinn and members of the state legislature to pass sensible gun laws," said Jack Clark, CROSSwalk's director. "Later we will collect the candles and deliver them to Springfield."

CROSSwalk began as a 1,500-person Holy Week procession to remember some 635 young people who have been murdered in Chicago since 2008. "It has grown into a point of connection for anguished communities and a new force for youth programming and funding," said Bishop Jeffrey Lee of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, which sponsors CROSSwalk.

Today CROSSwalk has more than 50 partners working on behalf of sensible gun laws, and to reduce the risk that children will become victims of violence. Partners in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago include All Saints' Episcopal Church, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Messiah-St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church and the diocese's Peace & Justice Committee. Community partners include Fourth Presbyterian Church, Lakeview Presbyterian Church, Greater St. John's Bible Church, Brady PAC Illinois, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, St. Agatha's Catholic Church and Holy Covenant Methodist Church.

The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago comprises 40,000 people in 124 congregations in Northern Illinois. The Episcopal Bishop of Chicago is the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, who leads the diocese to grow the church, form the faithful, and change the world. To learn more, please visit