Letters for Gun Violence Prevention
Dear Grace Church,
Like most of us, I have spent much of the recent week feeling a mixture of grief, anger, and worry following the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, TX. A week earlier, a racist attacked a grocery store in Buffalo, NY killing ten African Americans. Each of these deaths, and more than a hundred nationwide everyday, were preventable. Last week, I decided to turn my emotions into action. Invited by Principal Mindy Schoen of Sory Elementary, I prayed for the victims of the Uvalde school shooting. I also called the offices of and wrote letters to our local Congressman and our two Senators. I have included a copy of that letter in this mailing. Last night I attended a candlelight vigil for victims of gun violence on Zoom. I’m writing to you to invite you to join in this effort.
United Methodists are called to pursue both social and personal holiness. John Wesley described the mission of Methodism as: “To reform the nation, and in particular the Church, to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. We will wear red to worship, symbolizing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowered the apostles to use their voices to spread God’s message of love and peace. Empowered by the same Holy Spirit, now it is time for us to use our voices to advocate for changes to reform the nation’s gun violence. Christy and I are inviting everyone in the congregation- including children and youth- to participate in a letter writing campaign this Sunday, June 5, following worship. We will provide lunch, stamps, stationary, sample letters, Bible study materials, and other helpful items. This effort will be in addition to ongoing efforts to develop a Sunday morning safety plan, as well as pursuing connections with other churches and local organizations to advocate for sensible gun laws.
If you are unable to join us for lunch and letter writing, there are other options available for you:
United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121
Contact House of Reps: https://www.house.gov/doing-business-with-the-house/leases/contact-us
Contact Senate: https://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/general/one_item_and_teasers/contacting.htm
Scripts for letters or phone calls: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/guide-elected-representatives-gun-control_b_8708154
This prayer was written by Aimee Cox, director of children's ministry at Christ United Methodist Church Franklin, TN, and was published on May 24, 2022, by United Methodist Communications.
Holy One, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those in Uvalde, Texas. We recognize, however, that this isn’t enough. We do not want to be desensitized to violence. Stir something deep within that empowers us to stand up to violence of all kinds but most especially to the violence that hurts your sweet children. Give us words to speak truth to power. Show us how to use our hands, our feet, and our hearts because we know that you require more from us in these times. Provide us with the strength only you can provide as we seek to protect all of your children. We pray for the healing of those who are in critical condition, for the parents and families who are grieving, and for this community who has suffered a great loss. Amen
Grant us wisdom, Grant us courage..