Photo by courtesy of National Council of Churches
The National Council of Churches (NCC) has been active since the school shooting in Newtown, by making available resources to congregations (see story below) and encouraging religious leaders to address the issue of gun violence.
Tomorrow the ecumenical organization, of which the Church of the Brethren is a member, is holding a press conference in Washington, D.C., where religious leaders will speak out on gun violence.
In the hours following the shooting last week, NCC president Kathryn Lohre said, “As a parent, I cannot comprehend the grief other mothers and fathers are feeling tonight. I share President Obama’s instincts to hug my own child especially close tonight. And my heart breaks to know so many parents in Connecticut are no longer able to do that.
“Tragedies like the shootings in Newton are impossible for theologians and clergy to explain,” Lohre said. “But we seek comfort in our faith that our God is a God of love, and God’s heart is breaking tonight, too.”
The press conference is planned for Friday at 9 a.m. (eastern) in the nation’s capital. The group of religious leaders are expected “to call on Congress and the President to take meaningful action to address the national epidemic of gun violence,” said an NCC release.
“We must do more than lament the loss of life and comfort those who are engulfed in grief; we must come together as people of faith in a collective call to action to end this crisis gripping our country,” said an announcement of the event from Barbara Weinstein, associate director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
“The time to end senseless gun violence is now, and as religious leaders of national prominence, the responsibility to provide moral leadership to achieve that cause is ours.”
Speakers who are expected to take part in the press conference are NCC president Kathryn Lohre; Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention; Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America; Gabriel Salguero, senior pastor of Lamb’s Church; David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly; and Michael Livingston, a past president of the NCC and most recently director of the NCC’s poverty initiative, who directs the Washington Office of Interfaith Worker Justice.
Read the 2010 NCC resolution on “Ending Gun Violence” and a related resolution made by the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board in support of the NCC action, at www.brethren.org/about/policies/2010-gun-violence.pdf .