For the past 6 years, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence has declared an ecumenical, interfaith Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath in the month of December.
This year, the sabbath is scheduled for Dec. 12 - 15.
In the year 2019, we have seen more mass shootings then there are days in the year and we have seen enough school shootings to average one per week. Thousands of people will lose their lives to gun violence this year and our nation stands paralyzed by the politics of inaction and the emotionally overwhelming images of violence flashing across our television screens. These are the moments that cry out to the church to fulfill its role as the consciousness of the nation. The December sabbath is simply a moment to pause, reflect, pray, mourn and rededicate ourselves to the non-partisan truth that death by violence is not normal or acceptable.
Scipioville Presbyterian Church in Scipio Center will observe this sabbath on Friday, Dec. 13. For 12 hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Psalms will be read aloud from our pulpit. We recognize the psalms as the most honest, vulnerable, beautiful and emotionally raw writings in our biblical canon. As we consider so much of scripture to be God speaking to a people, the psalms represent a people crying out to God. So, in response to the overwhelming trauma and destruction caused by gun violence in this nation, we will stand and speak the words of a people to their God in challenging, uncertain circumstances. We acknowledge that the time for thoughts and prayers has passed; and yet, we also affirm that the mission and action of the church must be anchored in relationship to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From our prayer, our psalms, comes a dedication to turn words into actions, psalms into proclamation.
We are inviting our siblings in Christ to join us with your presence and/or with your voice. We are looking for volunteers to read in 15, 30, 45, or 60 minute shifts. Our hope is that this 12 hours will be a diversity of voices and faces speaking in unity with one another in response to an epidemic.
If you would like to simply offer a moment of your presence in solidarity, please know that there is no mandatory timeframe of attendance. You are welcome to wander in and out of our sanctuary throughout the day, once, or even for a fleeting moment. Every moment of your presence is a gift and a sign of acknowledgment for the loss, the fear, and the trauma caused by gun violence.
We hope you will consider participating by voice or by presence. For all of those who have lost a loved one, feared for the safety of a loved one, or found themselves in the uncertainty of not knowing, we offer you our voices, lifted in the common plea, "Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!"
God's peace be with you.
Scipioville Presbyterian Church
3428 State Route 34
Scipio Center, NY 13147
December 2, 2019 |