On February 14, 2018, a former student entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in
Parkland, Florida with an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon. In 7 minutes, he killed 17 students
and adults. In February of 1893, Presbyterians first participated in the Universal Day of Prayer for Students, lifting to God the lives of children, teenagers and young adults. In February of 2019, these two anniversaries coincide in a way that calls the church to take seriously the steps needed to protect students and all of us from the crisis of gun violence in our nation.
“All who live by the sword will die by the sword,” said Jesus in Matthew 26:52b, admonishing Peter for drawing his weapon in defense.
Far from being a political issue, gun violence is an epidemic that affects church communities profoundly. Last year, more than 40,000 American deaths and countless injuries traumatized families and neighborhoods, and the church is where the bereaved and the shell-shocked come to find peace, understanding, and a place of rest for their lost loved ones.
What does the Lord require of us? The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship offers this Gun Violence Prevention Toolkit to help your congregation turn toward action against gun violence. Revised in 2017, the toolkit offers a wealth of educational resources for small or large groups, including films to screen in your church or community, case studies, worship design, and ideas for starting the conversation. It also includes the customizable No Guns in God’s House sign, which is making its way onto church buildings across the country and can be ordered separately from the toolkit. Read and share this brochure for a quick overview of this important work.
The 219th General Assembly (2010) unanimously approved this ground-breaking report, Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call. Click here to download the full report (pdf)
Download the Report
And we can help. PPF’s Congregational Toolkit for Gun Violence Prevention is a wealth of resources for conversation, study, and organizing. Updated in 2017!
Here are a few reasons why we are particularly concerned about gun violence in the U.S.: