Prayer and Action, Faced with Gun Violence
PRAYER SONG God, Our Nation Feels the Loss (to the tune of PILOT, “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me” UMH #509)
God, our nation feels the loss as our children pay the cost
for the violence we accept, for the silence we have kept.
We weep for children gone; God of love, this can’t go on!
Jesus, Lord, we hear you say, “No more of this!” “No more of this!”
We too shout and say, “Enough!” May we build a world of love –
till the sounds of weapons cease, till our young can grow in peace.
Adapted from the original text by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.
Faced with gun violence, we grieve, O Lord, for those are killed and those whose lives are forever changed; we seek to comfort for those who have lost loved ones; we pray for a change of heart for those who resort to violence. Faced with gun violence, may we answer your calling and Educate; Organize; Advocate; and in all the ways we can, work for that day when weapons of destruction are transformed into instruments of healing. May it be so. May we so do. In your name, Amen.
PRAYER SONG Wounded World that Cries for Healing (The Faith We Sing #2177)
Wounded world that cries for healing — here we hold each other’s pain,
wounded systems, bruised and bleeding bear the load, the scars of strain;
dollars ration out compassion, hard decisions rule the day,
Jesus of the healing Spirit, free us to another way!
Through our nation’s spent frustration, through the corridors of stress
may there move a kindlier wisdom all may feel, and all may bless;
tax and tithe are for a purpose shared to shield the poor and weak:
past the symptoms of our sickness let the voice of justice speak.
Honor those whose loving spirit nurses hope, restores and heals,
towel and basin used in service like the Christ who comes and kneels;
in the tending, in the mending may we see the right and fair,
in our common quest for wholeness heal each other by our care.
CHURCH LEADERS’ VOICES
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, Wisconsin Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
Bishop Thomas Bickerton, President, Council of Bishops
Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Board of Church and Society, UMC
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATION & ADVOCACY
Tell the Senate to Act to Prevent Gun Violence (Urgent, as of the first week of June)
UMC General Conference (2016 Resolution #3428) Our Call to End Gun Violence
Wisconsin Conference of The UMC (2018 Resolution) A Call to Action on Gun Violence
Interfaith Vigil Against Gun Violence, Madison WI on May 31
PHONE MESSAGE TO THE CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS
Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and give the names of the senators/representatives you want to talk to. Find the phone numbers of the Wisconsin State Assembly members here.
I urge you to use the power of your office to pass more stringent legislation on firearm sales, background checks, and waiting periods.
I believe that the prevention of gun violence is not about partisanship or politics. It is about keeping people alive and protecting human rights.
SAMPLE LETTER TO FEDERAL LEGISLATORS
from The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection
Dear Member of Congress,
Thank you for the work you do every day on behalf of the American people and on my behalf as my Representative.
Last week we all grieved as 19 children and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. We shared that grief as Republicans and Democrats. You likely know that since January 1, 2022 there have been 27 shootings at schools across America. Some were suicides. Some were children who accidentally discharged guns, and some were teens who took their guns to school with the intent to kill. Twenty-seven school shootings.
Congress has united around solving major problems in the past. You’ve been bi-partisan in your support for Ukraine, spending billions to help Ukraine fend off Russia. What could be possible if Republicans and Democrats saw the deaths of these children in Uvalde, Texas, as a chance to address this issue together? This is our moonshot, our chance to solve a problem and make the world a better place.
To that end, I write to encourage bi-partisan efforts to reduce school shootings focused on:
Research Funding Focused on Reducing Violence Committed by and against Children: We can address this problem, but it will take bi-partisan support of serious research identifying root causes of this violence and practical solutions to address this problem.
Responsible Gun Storage: The largest number of gun deaths each year are suicides, often with young adults using guns owned by their parents. In addition, there are children who find guns and inadvertently harm themselves.
Licensure & Training: Permit laws are the single most effective way to reduce gun violence. States with permit laws of any kind have less gun violence than those without.
Background Checks: Background checks are among the easiest laws to thwart through private party sales, straw man sales and some gun shows and trading of weapons.
We can do something about this. These are our nation’s children. You have the power, as legislators, to leave a legacy of safer schools and better policies to protect the lives of our children. I’m pleading with you to please act.
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