Sandy Hook. Orlando. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. And Now Parkland. Mass shootings are quickly becoming a deadly pattern in American life, a pattern which we as Presbyterians must faithfully interrupt. In the midst of this movement moment, we also recognize that students in communities of color have been organizing to stop every day gun violence for decades but often receive little media acclaim. We offer prayers of comfort to grieving families of all of these massacres and acts of everyday violence, and accompany those prayers with a renewed commitment to action.
It is heartening to see the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School share their broad platform to insist the movement to end gun violence must center Black and Brown students. “People of color in inner-cities and everywhere have been dealing with this for a despicably long time,” said Emma González, a survivor of the Parkland shooting. These young people are inviting the Church into the movement, and we have every reason to join them.
The 219th General Assembly (2010) adopted the resolution, “Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call.” That document “Encourage[s] the church at every level… to become informed and active in preventing gun violence, to provide pastoral care for victims of gun violence, and to seek a spiritual response of grief and repentance, grace and courage to resist that violence and celebrate the Lord and Giver of Life.” Learn more about Social Witness Policy and available resources through the PCUSA here.
Given this charge, The Office of Public Witness Invites you to participate in the March For our Lives in Washington DC or in your own community.
- Find out about sibling marches in your own community
- Join us in DC:
- March 24th Join us as we gather at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m., 1313 New York Ave NW, and then march together to the noon rally on Pennsylvania Avenue. For more information, contact Karen at email@example.com. Register at marchforourlives.com
- There are a limited number of housing options available for people traveling to DC. Please contact Nora Leccese, firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire
- For students organizing walk outs, here is an excellent resource for student organizing