After yet another mass shooting, this time at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, our Rector issued a challenge: would someone in our parish look into what we could do to address gun violence? St. Margaret’s Living Without Fear Ministry grew out of that challenge.
Our vision is: We seek to protect the sacredness of every human being and to help create a greater community where people live without fear of the impact of gun violence.
Our Mission Statement is: In the context of our faith and in the interest of public health, our mission is to educate and bring awareness to our greater Coachella Valley community of the impact of gun violence, in part with other faith leaders, gun violence prevention groups and public safety resources.
Of course, awareness must start with us. We participated last December in the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, partnering with the Washington National Cathedral and Faiths United, by making and distributing orange (then color representing gun violence awareness) ribbons to the congregation and including a focus on gun violence in the Prayers of the People. We have begun a conversation with representatives of other faiths in the valley to explore how we might together address this issue within the context of faith.
Some of our members visited All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena to connect with their active gun violence task force and resources. And, we joined with congregations across the country participating in Faiths United’s “Sing for Peace” on September 25, 2016 through selected hymns, orange stoles for clergy and orange ribbons for us all, a “Ministry Minute” reflection, and an information table.
For the coming months, we are making plans for St. Margaret’s second annual participation in the Faiths United Sabbath Weekend Observance on December 11, 2016. Watch our St. Margaret’s Bulletin for details and for further information about gun violence prevention. We’re also working on an educational forum for our church community to participate in reflection and discussion about this issue. Details to follow in the Winter Handbook!
For more information, contact Meredith Hardy at (760) 861-8644 or David Burgdorf at (760) 861-1112