We simply cannot accept the toll of gun violence as the norm in our nation. This is a moral imperative. How can we as people of faith be silent as gun violence takes the lives of children, women and men, at a rate exceeding the death toll of all wars ever fought by the United States. When children must be equipped with bullet-proof backpacks to go to school, what do we have to say to this? We cannot find comfort in saying “peace, peace” without committing to the hard work that makes for peace. Engaging in the sometimes difficult dialogue around gun violence is one important step in the process.
The context of gun violence is complex – no one piece of legislation can address it. But we know that gun violence is preventable. We have the means to reduce gun violence. What we seem not to have is the political will to take action, on measures such as strengthening background checks on gun purchases, requiring child safety locks and implementing technology that can prevent guns from being used in violent acts. Our culture has a heavy investment in death; isn’t it time we invested in life and hope? This is our faith call.
Faith vs. Fear Bible Study
A faith response to gun violence
Want to be a voice for change? Need help?
Check out this guide written for faith and lay leaders to help them answer the tough questions and speak effectively about gun violence prevention!
General Synod Policy on Gun Violence
Resolution on Guns and Violence - General Synod 20
Resolution on Violence in our Society and World - General Synod 20
Resolution on Creating a World Safe for Children Free from Violence - General Synod 20
Read Rev. Matt Crebbin's invitation to participate in the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath. Rev. Crebbin is the Senior Pastor at Newtown Congregational Church, UCC in Newtown, CT.
Act to End Gun Violence
Every year 30,000 precious lives — each one created in God’s image — are added to a tally of lives lost to gun violence. It's time to act. Call on Congress to pass the bipartisan Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1217), which would ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process.
UCC leaders applaud Obama's efforts to curb gun violence
After a January 2016 announcement by President Barack Obama that his administration would implement several measures intended to curb gun violence, United Church of Christ leaders are applauding his effort to take action when Congress would not.
Long Island church using 1,000 crosses to mark gun violence
In December 2015, Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ in Long Island, N.Y. placed 650 white crosses in front of the church during the recent weekend to remember communities touched by gun violence — and they were still short of their goal by more than 300 crosses.
Virginia church honors lives lost to gun violence
Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ in Arlington, Va., displayed blue, white and yellow shirts hung over crosses, with names and dates of birth and death noted, to symbolize 155 lives lost to gun violence in the Washington, D.C., metro area in 2014.
UCC leaders call for action, offer comfort after San Bernardino shooting
Fourteen people were slain Dec. 2, 2015, in the deadliest bout of gun violence in the United States since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.
Andover Newton bringing people of faith together to 'say no' to gun culture
Andover Newton Theological School, a UCC seminary, hosted a two-day summit in October 2015 to bring together religious, civic and academic leaders in discussion on increasing gun violence it says is raging through American cities.
Maryland church to host Advent concert honoring slain South Carolina pastor
To honor the pastor of a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., killed in a June 2015 shooting, the Festival Chorus at Westmoreland United Church of Christ hosted an anti-gun violence concert and fundraiser in his name during Advent.
Commentary: Why We Can't Give Up on Preventing Gun Violence
It is time to reclaim our streets, schools, and workplaces from the threat of gun violence, and it is time to reclaim the power of our vote from narrow special interests that seek to block even modest, common-sense measures to prevent gun violence.
A visible call for tougher gun legislation marks Long Island church
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
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.
Newtown clergy begins vigil on the National Mall for victims of gun violence
The Rev. Matt Crebbin of Newtown Congregational UCC and fellow Newtown clergy are standing for the thousands who have fallen victim to gun violence. Joined by leaders of faith organizations in a 24-hour vigil, they are calling on Congress to vote on gun-violence prevention legislation.
Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence
The UCC's former General Minister and President, the Rev. Geoffrey Black, joined 42 other faith leaders in writing 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.
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Our Stillspeaking Voice is a monthly issues-oriented multimedia initiative, created to amplify the bold public voice of the United Church of Christ. Part of General and Minister and President John C. Dorhauer’s first 90-day initiatives, Our Stillspeaking Voice is the product of all the UCC’s national ministries–– the Office of the General Minister and President, Justice and Witness Ministries, Local Church Ministries and Wider Church Ministries –– in partnership with several UCC conferences, around a dozen issues that are part of the church’s DNA.
Previous UCC "Our Stillspeaking Voice" intitiatives.
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