A Lenten Discipline to Reduce Violence
Consider this: Lent is a forty day discipline of preparing ourselves to face honestly the violence of our world and our complicity with it, so that we may receive the good news of new life in an Easter world without crucifixions. Holy week is not a pageant to observe in grief, but an event to respond to with new commitments.
This year, as a Lenten Discipline, the White Plains Presbyterian Church is taking concrete action to reduce gun violence and witness to gospel values as we mobilize our response to God’s call. Throughout Lent, we will as a congregation
1) pray weekly for the President and Congress as they struggle with the issue of gun violence.
2) our pastors will continue to preach, teach, and be involved in community efforts to change our culture of violence-acceptance and eradicate gun violence. In fact, their six-week sermon series will address the root causes of fear and desperation that lead to violence-acceptance.
3) On Palm Sunday we will show the documentary TRIGGER: The Ripple Effects of Gun Violence on eradicating gun violence. We will issue an open invitation to the White Plains community to watch and discuss this with us.
4) We will participate in the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend on March 15-17. (watch for details)
5) Having studied our church’s social witness policy, Gun Violence and Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call, we will continue to distribute it and make it available for study through our website, blog and facebook. And as has been mentioned, this study has given shape to our six week Lenten sermon series.
Individual members and friend are are encouraged to
6) Sign this petition to urge congress to ban all assault weapons and high capacity magazines, require universal background checks when purchasing any firearm, and make gun trafficking a federal crime. This call is not only the policy of our church but received wide agreement among persons on many side of gun discussions.
7) Contact your members of congress EACH WEEK DURING LENT. Contact information is available here.
We readily accept this invitation to Lenten Discipline from our Presbyterian Washington Office. Our local mission statement declares “God calls us to a beacon in the community to draw people into relationship and service with Jesus Christ. We are called to make a difference in ourselves, in our church community and in the world.”
Let’s make a difference as we respond to God’s call to reduce gun violence.