We are shocked, again, by the tragic events on Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2018) when Nicholas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and used a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle to shoot and kill 17 students and teachers and wound 14 others. In response to this desecration of a safe space for learning, our children are leading where we have failed. We must now stand with them!
With breathtaking speed and
results, the students in the Parkland, FL community have effectively organized
and are making their newly claimed voices heard on local and national
platforms. Prior calls for action on gun violence by young people,
particularly by youth of color, have too often gone unheard. Now, their voices together
are creating change. This Saturday, March 24, these brave children and young adults have organized
a massive march on
Washington, DC and around the nation. Their message is simple: ENOUGH! It’s
time to end gun violence in our country.
have resolved as a church to work for the passage and strict enforcement of
laws that control the manufacture and sale of weapons not used for hunting and
sport, or for use other than law enforcement and military purposes. (Read the
ELCA social policy resolution on “Community Violence – Gun Control” here. See also the 2016 Churchwide Assembly Memorial
on Gun Violence Prevention here).
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton issued a pastoral letter following the Parkland shooting.
Read it here.
At their most recent meeting, the ELCA Conference of Bishop
spoke together saying: “The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America, in solidarity with our children and youth, and in response
to our common baptismal vocation: living among God’s faithful people, hearing
the word of God and sharing in the Lord’s Supper, proclaiming the good news of
God in Christ through word and deed, serving all people following the example
of Jesus, and striving for justice and peace in all the earth; offer our
support, partnership and prayers for the March for Our Lives, its satellite
city events, and our children and youth who are leading us forward
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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