216 lives. Over the past decade, 216 children and their teachers have died in school shootings. Since 2012, 216 innocent lives have been lost in these horrific acts of violence. And with the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that number grew even larger as 21 more innocent lives were taken. Now, school shootings have claimed 237 lives. 237 lives that should still be here today.
We are a people who pray, so of course we pray for the families and for all who grieve. We pray for everyone who has lost someone to this epidemic of gun violence in our nation.
But I urge you to let your prayers motivate you to action. Don’t allow yourself to become numb to these senseless tragedies that have become all too common. Use your voice and get involved to make this country a safer place for our children through sensible gun reform.
One place you can go is The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations, which has resources to respond to gun violence here: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/ogr/resources-to-respond-to-gun-violence/
Another vital resource is Bishop’s United Against Gun Violence, a group of which I am proud to be a member. The website below contains advocacy and prevention resources, as well as liturgical resources: https://bishopsagainstgunviolence.org/
Some additional liturgical resources have come my way from clergy within our diocese:
- The Rev. William Seth Adams of St. Stephen’s, Oak Harbor shared this excellent lament in response to news of the shooting: https://www.ststephensofoakharbor.org/stay-updated/clarion-close-ups/a-lament
- The Rev. Jim Friedrich came across the following hymn in response to school shootings, which is free to use in church services: https://ecww.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Hymn-God-Our-Nation-Feels-the-Loss.jpg
237 lives. Let us all take action and work together to put an end to this horrific violence.