Reflecting on the Anniversary of Newtown

By Bryan Hanger

Dec. 14 marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly mass shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. As we take time to reflect on the anniversary of this terrible loss of life, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence has organized a letter signed by over 50 national religious leaders, including Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger. Below is an excerpt from the letter that will be released to the public and sent to every member of Congress on Monday, Dec. 9.

“With heavy hearts, we now approach the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012. On that tragic day, our nation saw the loss of 20 defenseless young children and of six of the teachers and administrators that cared for them. We continue to mourn that unnecessary loss of life, and the dozens of lives lost to gun violence each and every day since then. Faith leaders in Newtown have been on the front line of responding to the unimaginable grief and pain of the families, and of the entire community there. Across the country, we grieve with our own congregants and communities, and we share the determination of them all to do all within our power to ensure that we stop this constant onslaught of violence.”

The full letter will be available online at on Dec. 9, along with more information about the call-in event.

Advocacy: Faiths Calling to Prevent Gun Violence

The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness will be participating with Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence and its member organizations in a call-in day to Congress on Dec. 13 in support of gun violence prevention policies. We invite you to raise your voice on this issue as you feel led and to contact your Senators on Dec. 13. For more information about this issue and how to participate, check out the Office of Public Witness’ Action Alert at .

Take time in this season of hope to pray and reflect on this sorrowful anniversary, and begin to think about how you can work to prevent gun violence in your own community.

— Bryan Hanger is advocacy assistant at the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. For more about the Public Witness ministry contact coordinator Nathan Hosler at or 717-333-1649.

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