Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you may know, at the 2015 General Convention, our Bishop, along with the Bishops, clergy and laity of The Episcopal Church marched through the streets of Salt Lake City, crying out for an end to gun violence. The testimonies that were shared from victims moved the crowd to tears. And yet, our cries were not enough.
On Ash Wednesday, we were faced, once again with another senseless tragedy brought on by gun violence. As I wrote in that week’s Friday Reflection, we, as Christians, were gathering to repent of our sins and come face to face with our own mortality, while children and adults were hiding in a school in Parkland Florida, fearing for their lives. That day 17 people unnecessarily lost their lives because of gun violence.
Now, almost a month later, the young people of our communities have joined the cry against gun violence. “How many more people will have to die before hearts and minds are changed?” This is the question we are all wondering.
On March 14, the Bishop and I ask that you join with us in continuing that lament. We are providing you with a litany that we hope you will say as a community on that Wednesday. It is our hope that if your congregation has a service during the week, that this litany will be a part of that gathering.
If you pray at home, or the office, please pray this litany. Pray it on Sundays in place of the Prayers of the People if you like…whatever the custom of your community…please lift your voice with us. Click here for litany.
On March 24, there are several opportunities to join young people in solidarity throughout the Central Valley in the “March for Our Lives”. Please make every effort to join them.
If you are a clergy person, wear your alb and stole. If you are a lay person, where an Episcopal t-shirt.
Our presence and our voice is needed now more than ever in our community. They need to know that the church is in this with them, and that we really do believe that we are Called to be…A Safe Place for All God’s People.
If you would like to host a march in your community, you can organize through this website.
Locally, marches are being held at:
- 7890 N Blackstone, Fresno (10am)
- 1001 W Main St, Visalia (10:30am)
- CSU Stanislaus, Turlock (1pm)
- Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, 425 N El Dorado St, Stockton (10am)
Friends, as our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said during the Revival, “I’m not being political, I’m being biblical”. He is exactly right…this is about loving our neighbors, about closing the chasm which separates us, and about respecting the dignity of every human being.
Our young people, teachers and first responders need us to live out the Gospel, and I hope you’ll join us.