Yesterday I designed a banner for the front lawn for our “Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath” observance next weekend. Before the email had come from the banner company, verifying the order, the banner was already wrong…
…and by today, I was starting to think, how many more names of cities or towns will have to get added to our banner before the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend arrives?
In September the bishop invited clergy to a meeting with Bryan Miller, the executive director of Heeding God’s Call, a Philadelphia-based organization that works on gun safety issues. Dave and I came away from it sure that we could get folks from Redeemer interested in participating in the organization’s “Memorials to the Lost” program– a display of t-shirts that represent those lost to gun violence.
It wasn’t until the Paris massacre that our efforts to get the display to happen at Redeemer started to take shape, but thanks to a dedicated group, it will now happen.
At our staff meeting yesterday we were talking about what needed to be done to support it, and whether or not it needed something to explain what the display was about. So I offered to create a banner. Dave and I worked on the wording and I quickly put something together in Photoshop. I found a coupon to get a discount from the banner company, and needing to move on to other work, sent the order off.
It wasn’t ten minutes later that I got the first “push notification” on my phone from the New York Times about a shooting in San Bernardino.
We were planning to have the church open from 8-4 (you can sign up to host an hour if you’re available) on Monday, the 14th, the anniversary of Newtown, so that people can come into the church and pray. We’ve decided to add another component to that time– you can also stop in and write a letter to your legislator about gun safety. We’d even be willing to have the church open longer if we can get folks to be hosts.
We’re also thinking about creating a giant T-shirt with chalk paint (like we did with the chalk “gun” a couple of years ago) so that people can have an interactive way to express themselves about what’s going on in the world and the exhibit. Do you have other thoughts about things that we as a community can do to make a ripple in the pond of gun violence? Please share your thoughts with me, or with Dave.