More than 3,300 makeshift grave markers on the National Mall commemorating the lives lost to gun violence since the shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Members of the faith community have long advocated for sensible, responsible policies to end gun violence. In 1995, The UCC 20th General Synod passed a resolution entitled “Violence in Our Society and World,” in which it recognized the complicated and interwoven layers at the root of violence.
That same General Synod also passed a resolution entitled “Guns and Violence,” inviting UCC members and congregations to advocate for legislation to strengthen licensing and registration of gun sales, strengthen regulations of gun dealers and ban semiautomatic assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips.
The faith community has come together many times in the aftermath of gun tragedies to urge lawmakers to pass laws that prevent gun violence. Tested by our grief, resolute in our faith we remain committed to continuing this drumbeat.
Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath - March 13-16, 2014
Sermon & Education Deliver a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath sermon, invite reporters to attend, and provide gun violence prevention information/activities to congregants. Get ecumenical sermon ideas, hymn suggestions, and resources.
Points of Light Light thousands of tealight candles depicting the number of people who have been lost to gun violence since Newtown or light candles representing the number of local gun violence victims. (A helpful calculator showing how many gun deaths since Newtown is available here.)
Vigil & Vocals Hold a vigil or church service with choir outside member of Congress’s office. While church choir is singing, have names of gun violence victims read. Intersperse lines of psalms with names of gun violence victims. (Resource: Short vigil sermon courtesy of the Maine Council of Churches)
Fasting for Action A communal fast – have a continuous 2,000 hour fast (12 weeks) where people commit to fasting for one day outside elected officials’ office for gun violence victims.
Acts of Kindness Perform a specific number of acts of kindness to honor the number lost to gun violence in your community since Newtown.
The 20 backpacks and six bags represent the 26 students, teachers and administrators who were killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012. The Backpack Project of Sayville UCC in Long Island, N.Y., is calling for tougher gun legislation.
Where will gun reform lead UCC activists in 2014? December 14, 2013 The 2013 calendar year escalated a contentious debate on gun reform in the United States, spurred by the death of 26 schoolchildren and administrators in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, and the ‘not guilty’ verdict in July against George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black Florida teenager. What the 2013 calendar year didn’t note was a change to any federal gun legislation.
A visible call for tougher gun legislation marks Long Island church July 23, 2013 On the front lawn of Sayville United Church of Christ on Long Island, N.Y., 20 backpacks and six teachers bags hang, each bearing the names and representing the 26 innocent lives that were lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn. The public display is a call for tougher gun legislation.
Commentary: Every day is an anniversary July 19, 2013 Aurora and Oak Creek made headlines, but the painful truth is that every single day on the calendar is the anniversary of the terrible toll of gun violence, somewhere in America, whether or not it makes the nightly news.
Gun-Control Groups Mark Newtown Anniversary with Lobbying Efforts Gun-control advocates—including some relatives of children killed in the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary—will travel to Washington this week to lobby lawmakers on the six-month anniversary of the attack. White House aides said that President Obama is not scheduled to hold any gun-related events this week or to issue additional executive orders on the issue, but likely will acknowledge the milestone. A number of groups will stage an event in front of the Capitol on Thursday June 12, 2013. Mark Glaze the Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns said his group will launch a summer bus tour from Newtown, Conn., on Friday June 13, 2013. Read more.
January 15, 2013: The UCC's General Minister and President, the Rev. Geoffrey Black, joined 42 other faith leaders in writing a a letter asking President Obama and members of Congress to, "do everything possible to keep guns out of the hands of people who may harm themselves or others." The letter supports background checks for those who intend to buy a gun and demands legislation outlawing high capacity weapons and ammunition clips. The letter also declares that gun trafficing should be made a federal crime.