September 18, 2022: Join Christians across the country for a Service of Lament, Repentance, & Action against gun violence in your local faith community.
What? We will unite our voices across the country, just like World Communion Sunday, by planning individual worship services that directly address the gun violence pandemic in our nation.
Where? In your local faith community
When? September 18th
Why? Because we follow a peacemaker named Jesus who reminds us again and again that love is an active verb.
How? This website is filled with resources to help you plan a meaningful worship service, including liturgy, music, sermon reflections, further study and action, images, children's education, and information on how to get the word out in your local community.
Then what? Sign up on this website by including your information below or by emailing Rev. Abby Henrich at firstname.lastname@example.org
This spring, the CDC announced that children are more likely to die of gun violence than in car accidents. Not long after, our hearts stopped when ten people of color shopping at their local grocery store in Buffalo were gunned down by a white supremacist. Ten days later, nineteen children and two teachers were slaughtered in Uvalde Texas, their bodies to be identified by DNA swabs. The quick succession left us hurt and disoriented. The repeating lament, Again? rattled in our hearts. Our laments were followed by more questions: At a grocery store? In a school? In a church? At a parade? Where is anyone safe?
The most maddening reality is a very simple truth: mass shootings are preventable. If our country had the political will, we could end the culture of mass shootings in America. Our Christian lament is deepened by the statistical fact that Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by gun violence. They experience 10 times the gun homicides, 18 times the gun assault injuries, and nearly 3 times the fatal shootings by police.
We crave community based, common-sense gun laws and a ban on assault rifles, but all we get are shallow thoughts and hollow prayers. To our shock, one month after Buffalo and Uvalde, the Supreme Court expanded gun rights, ruling that Americans have the right to carry concealed weapons in public. The National Rifle Association hosted their annual conference defiantly in Houston - not far from Uvalde - just days after the horrific shooting there. And a greater militarization of our police has been a repeated answer to the growing number of gun deaths.
Anger. Defeat. Rage. Disgust. We feel hopeless and stuck. We ask the same questions over and over: When will our political leaders listen? What can we as Christians do that we haven’t already done?
These questions inspire our grassroots movement. On September 18th Christian communities will unite against gun violence across our nation by leading services of Lament, Repentance, and Action. We have created this event as Christian peacemakers who want to reduce gun violence. This website is to assist congregations, ministers, priests, pastors, and activists to create a meaningful worship service followed by powerful political action. We hope that this protest-through-worship will loudly witness to the person of Jesus, who resisted all violence.
Join the movement! Make your witness against gun violence with other Christians across the country. Invite others to join the movement. Let it be clear to our political leaders and our communities that Christians follow a peacemaker named Jesus who called us into the public sphere to protect the innocent.
What you and your faith community can do:
Create a service that feels right for your community. Use the resources we have provided or different resources.
Let us know you are joining the movement.
Post about your service on social media and use hashtag #ChristiansUnitedAgainstGunViolence.
Tell your local media outlets about what you are doing. We have created resources for this too.
A final word on why this is a Christian movement and not an interfaith movement: As Christian leaders it has become painfully clear to us that some of the loudest voices preventing gun safety in our country are Christians. While these communities hold gun blessings, encourage people to bring guns to church, and fill the pockets of pro-gun lobbies like the NRA, they ignore the teachings of Jesus. We feel it is essential that we, as Christians, offer a united voice in opposition to such mis-readings of our sacred text and the teachings of Jesus.