Dear Beloved of God,
Last week there was another school shooting that shocked the country and brought us to our knees. Over the holiday weekend there were 11 more reported mass shootings. (Mass shooting is defined as multiple victims of gun-related attacks.) It is not hyperbole to state that gun violence is an epidemic in this country. According to Forbes Magazine, guns are now the leading cause of death for children and youth.
As Christians we are called to pray and act in the best interest of God’s creation. It is difficult to know what to do, but we know that we must do something. I encourage you to continue praying for the families of all victims of gun violence, including those who have been injured, first responders, caregivers of those who will never fully recover, families of the dead, and the families of the perpetrators. Pray for our elected officials that they will do what is right. Pray for the gun lobby that they will see the error of their ways and support common-sense gun laws.
Look for ways that you can make a difference, even if what you can do seems too small. One thing we can all do is send messages of support to victims. This Sunday, we will have blank notecards and pens available for you to write notes to the families in Uvalde, TX. On Monday, we will mail them to First Presbyterian Church of Uvalde for distribution. You never know if what you write will be just the message to bring hope and comfort to someone.
There are other ways to give as well. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has reached out to the communities affected by the most recent shootings. Everytown USA (everytown.org) and Moms Demand Action (momsdemandaction.org) are among the reliable organizations for effecting change. Look for, and follow, organizations like these to stay informed and discover opportunities to make a difference.
Here's something to do this weekend: WEAR ORANGE. We will wear red on Sunday in celebration of Pentecost, but on Friday and Saturday wear something orange to show your support. Go to https://wearorange.org/ to learn about this annual event.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly: VOTE. Learn which candidates stand for gun legislation and let your voice be heard.
"And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8