Local Faith Community Reacts to Overland Park Shootings

By Chris Eidson

Published 04/13 2014 08:07PM

Updated 04/13 2014 09:10PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Jewish student organization at Missouri State University in Springfield held a Passover event Sunday evening at Bear Chapel.

Carl Haworth heard about the Overland Park shootings while attending a Passover dinner in Springfield.

"I can't imagine why someone would perpetrate such an act," he said, "It's total shock."

Especially, he said, at the start of this holiday week.

"I'm just stunned. The practice of good toward others is part of this season," he said.

Samantha Nichols also attended Sunday night's dinner, but her heart was in Kansas City.

"I think we should remember that no matter what religious, political, ideological differences we have, we are all people and this is the last thing we should be doing to each other," she said.

She grew up in Overland Park, minutes from where the shootings took place.

"It affects everyone. Everyone in that community knows someone who is associated with the Village Shalom or the JCC," she said.

She said her family and friends were in shock when they heard the news.

"Everyone just can't believe it because whether you're Jewish or not that's a huge presence in our community," she said.

"It really hit home for the importance of what we're doing here today," Hillel of Southwest Missouri President Simon Nogin said.

He helped organize the Passover event in Springfield.

He said the tragedy shows why events like this dinner are so important.

"The idea is to help remove stigma and negative ideas that exist about people of different faith groups," he said.

"Just three hours away something this tragic took place, but here in Springfield we are rising above it by having this expression of interfaith dialogue and service," Nichols said.

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