Church offers service of 'hope and healing'

Candlelight vigil Sunday for Marissa Kennedy; child abuse awareness ribbons distributed

Mar 01, 2018
Courtesy of: Steve Ryan People fill Post Office Square parking area in Belfast at 5 p.m. Saturday for a vigil in memory of 10-year-old Marissa March 3 of Stockton Springs, who died last weekend after being battered for months.

There will be a candlelight vigil and memorial ceremony held in remembrance of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy Sunday, March 4, on the Stockton Springs Town Office grounds.

Marissa died Feb. 25 in her Stockton Springs home after suffering months of abuse at the hands of her mother and stepfather, who have been charged with depraved indifference murder.

Participants are asked to begin arriving at 5 p.m., the vigil starts at 6 p.m. There will be a number of candles available, however, if you wish to bring your own, please bring an electric or contained flame.

For more information, please contact

In addition to the vigil, the communities of Searsport and Stockton Springs are organizing efforts to hang royal blue ribbons to raise awareness of child abuse. The hanging of ribbons in Searsport will take place Sunday. The ribbon-hanging effort in Stockton Springs is currently being organized.

Ribbons will be available at Searsport Town Office starting on Friday, March 2, after noontime. Ribbons also can be picked up at the Sunday vigil.

Everyone is welcome to attend the vigil or to hang ribbons. Details will be updated and shared as they become available.

Searsport First Congregational Church, 8 Church St., Searsport, will offer a Candlelight Service of Hope and Healing on Sunday, March 4, at 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served in Curtis Hall afterward. All are welcome.

The following poem was submitted to The Republican Journal by Phoebe French of Searsport, who said she was inspired to write it upon hearing of Marissa's death.

In Loving Memory of Marissa Kennedy

There was a little girl in the throes of Hell,

There was no one that she could tell,

Did we all let her down? Who is to know,

Now we all to her our love we want to show!


The terrific pain that she endured so long,

Was horrific and so very wrong,

It's so hard to comprehend, how can this be,

Our hearts are broken and troubled you see!


How can our community ever recover?

We can be caring and respect one another.

If we notice something is not right,

Do all that we can to bring it to light!


Follow your instincts you have nothing to lose,

So not give up you must not refuse,

Someone's life may be at stake,

Pull out all stops as action you take!


In memory of Marissa we can say

She is resting with Jesus this very day!

I know that on the cross He bore her pain

And our loss is Heaven's gain!

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