from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
LINK HERE to download/View the 60-day resource
We are saddened by the all-too-frequent occurrences of gun violence in this country. We mourn the loss of life. We grieve for the victims and their families, who often feel silenced. And we lament for those who have done violence to others and often feel removed from a community of faith.
Our baptismal covenant calls us to strive for justice and peace in all the world. As a church, we look for ways to bring healing to those affected by violence as well as those unjustly caught up in the criminal justice system.
As a community of faith, we strive to be visible witnesses and agents of change in addressing the root causes of violence. We recognize that, in many cases, discrimination is a factor in gun violence, and we acknowledge the toxic intersection of anti-Semitism, xenophobia, racism, and white nationalism.
With this 60-day resource we ask you to journey with us through daily observances that revolve around prayer, education, and advocacy. Through daily readings we lift up the many ways in which the ELCA has spoken out, through statements, social teaching and social-policy resolutions that address gun violence, violence prevention, and criminal justice. We are not alone in this work; we seek ways to work with our ecumenical and inter-religious partners, with other faith groups, and with other organizations that share our goals.
Meeting in 2018, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council acknowledged that churches hold fast to a message of peace while living in contexts of violence. The LWF general secretary implored member churches “to accept these challenging times as a Kairos to be the church, a time to draw from the deep sources of faith so as never to be driven away from the message of the liberating grace of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.”
In some ways we have become inured to gun violence. We must become re-sensitized. This 60-day resource of prayer, scripture, church teaching, and information bids us to face the painful truth about gun violence and to work for its prevention through the message of Christ for the sake of the gospel.
We hope this resource will help guide us as a community of believers to follow Jesus’ call to be peacemakers, to pursue justice, and to protect the vulnerable.