Church leaders call for end to gun violence

Church leaders call for end to gun violence

An annual Good Friday demonstration against gun violence on March 25, that involved several Philadelphia United Methodist churches, is featured in a UM News Service article about a General Conference proposal to address the national problem in May.

The public demonstration reported on and depicted in the article was the Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence rally and march held on Good Friday, an annual tradition that began in 2009. The rally gathered at First UMC of Germantown, where people listened to speeches, songs and prayers, surrounded by colorful, hanging t-shirts that symbolized lives lost to gun violence in Philadelphia this year. Many of the people marched about 1.5 miles to visit three places where handgun victims were slain, as though they were stations of the cross, and ended up at Janes Memorial UMC.

FullSizeRender (10)The General Conference proposal, offered by the General Board of Church and Society, the denomination’s social action agency, cites the prophet Micah’s dream of turning weapons into plows. It offers practical suggestions that call not for the elimination of guns but for strengthening and enforcement of gun laws and community efforts to reduce illegal possession and ensure restraint and gun safety.

While offering a national scope on the problem, the UMNS article by Kathy Gilbert includes statements by several Eastern PA Conference clergy: the Revs. Bob Coombe, David Tatgenhorst, James McIntire and Lydia Muñoz, who chairs the conference’s Urban Commission. Learn more…

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Rev. Andrew Foster photos.

Top photo by the Rev. Linda Noonan: A crowd of more than 200 people of many faiths listens prior to walking through Philadelphia’s gun damaged Germantown neighborhood.