TO READ THE DAILY POSTS, CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW.
DAY 60: Resources on Grief and Trauma, Hope and Healing
DAY 59: A New Sense of What it Means to Be Church
DAY 58: Maryland Church Visibly Recognizes Gun Violence Victims, Remembers with Communion
DAY 57: Planning for What You Hope Will Never Happen
DAY 56: Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the Cost of Discipleship
DAY 55: Service of Prayer and Lament in Times of Violence
DAY 54: Gun Violence and Christian Witness
DAY 53: A Few Ideas for Involving Others in Addressing Gun Violence
DAY 52: A Perspective from South Dakota
DAY 51: Everyday Americans Finally Get Their Say
DAY 50: Prayer for Emergency Workers
DAY 49: Reforming Our Criminal Justice System
DAY 48: What We Talk about When We Talk about Guns
DAY 47: LWF Shares Pain, Prayers, and Solidarity over Las Vegas Shooting
Day 46: Recognizing and Addressing Stress and Anxiety after a Traumatic Event
DAY 45: Love and Peace in the Midst of Violence
DAY 44: Living Lutheran When Others Are Dying
DAY 43: A Hymn Lamenting Gun Violence
DAY 42: Resources for Christian Leaders
DAY 41: Ecumenical Risk-Management and Gun-Violence-Prevention Resources
DAY 40: Government Resources, Training Materials, and Videos on Active Shooter Preparedness
DAY 39: Caring for Gunshot Patients and Those Who Treat Them
DAY 38: Talking with Children and Youth about Race, Identity, and Diversity
DAY 37: Pursuing Our Commitment to Counter Community Violence
DAY 36: Watch for the August Issue of LIVING LUTHERAN
DAY 35: Resolving or De-escalating Conflict
DAY 34: The Role of the Church in Prison and Reentry Ministry
DAY 33: ELCA Congregations Respond to Gun Violence
DAY 32: Beating Guns into Garden Tools
DAY 31: ELCA Risk Management Resources
DAY 30: Resources for Prayer and Worship in a Time of Tragedy
DAY 29: Prayer for Day of Mourning
DAY 28: The Possibility in Devastation
DAY 27: Prayer for Time of Conflict, Crisis, Disaster
DAY 26: Ending Gun Violence: A Resolution and Call to Action
DAY 24: Saint Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians: “I Will Not Be Dominated.”
DAY 23: Why Is Advocacy Important to Our Church?
DAY 22: Confession of Brokenness and Sin
DAY 21: Responding across Religious Traditions
DAY 19: Liberated and Freed by the Gospel to Care and Love
DAY 18: Augsburg Fortress Resources on Violence
DAY 17: One Bullet, Many Wounds
DAY 16: How ENGAGE Fosters Genuine Dialogue
DAY 15: That They May, Again, Rejoice
DAY 14: ELCA Youth Raise Their Voices
DAY 13: The Trauma Changes You
DAY 12: Facing the Difficult Decisions Together
DAY 11: A Prayer for Mass Violence
DAY Ten: Looking for Ways to Reduce Violence and Promote Peace and Wholeness
DAY Nine: A Tragedy Became a Catalyst for Action
Day Eight: The Causes of Violence Are Complex
Day Seven: Letting Others Know Where We Stand and What We Are Doing
Day Six: Giving an Effective Invitation to Discuss Gun Violence Prevention
Day Five: Gun Violence – A Widespread Crisis and Challenge
Day Four: Let Us Stand Against This Scourge
Day Three: A Prayer for We Who Do Nothing
Day Two: A Story of Love and Hate, Faith and Justice
Day One: The Long Journey Toward Justice and Peace
These last weeks have, once again, been a time of devastating news and deep mourning for our nation as a result of gun violence: a church in Ames, Iowa, a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the unthinkable killing of 19 elementary school children and two teachers by a gunman at Uvalde, Texas, the deadliest school shooting since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook. It’s a horror beyond imagination, and yet it’s again the headline. And so the list goes on in recent weeks, with racially motivated killings at a church in Laguna Wood, California, a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and a hair salon in Dallas, Texas. Each day it seems we hear of yet another shooting, and we know there are many that never make it to the networks and newspapers.
Again, violence and hatred have taken innocent lives, displaced families, shaken communities, and left us wondering why. We’re horrified to see the continuing devastation of gun violence in America.
We all know these stories too well. The same horrors play out repeatedly, and prayers aren’t enough. We take seriously our promise to speak up, call others to action, and advocate for ways to find accountability for hate and to work for criminal justice and gun reform.
For all who despair in the face of these events, let’s learn together and act together. We invite you to join us, starting June 3, for the next 60 days on a journey of prayer, scripture, stories, and church teachings crafted by the ELCA with “A 60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence.” These daily reflections help us hear God’s call to prevent gun violence as people of God who seek justice and peace.
We will post a reflection on our Nativity Facebook page and on THIS PAGE each day (scroll down), beginning June 3, along with additional resources for contemplation and action around the issue of gun violence. May God inspire and move us as we bring our grief to Him in community.
We’re grateful to the ELCA for creating and offering this journey, and we look forward to sharing it together. Below you’ll find the ELCA’s introduction to the “60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence.” We invite you to read and reflect on these daily posts.
– The Public Ministry Department, Dr. Kelly Sherman-Conroy and Kyle Soderberg
A 60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence
“The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is saddened by the all-too-frequent occurrences of
gun violence in this country. We mourn the loss of life. We grieve for the victims and their
families, who often feel silenced. And we lament for those who have done violence to others and
often feel removed from a community of faith.
Our baptismal covenant calls us to strive for justice and peace in all the world. As a church, we
look for ways to bring healing to those affected by violence as well as those unjustly caught up in
the criminal justice system.
As a community of faith, we strive to be visible witnesses and agents of change in addressing the
root causes of violence. We recognize that, in many cases, discrimination is a factor in gun
violence, and we acknowledge the toxic intersection of anti-Semitism, xenophobia, racism, and
With this 60-day resource we ask you to journey with us through daily observances that revolve
around prayer, education, and advocacy. Through daily readings we lift up the many ways in
which the ELCA has spoken out, through statements, social teaching and social-policy
resolutions that address gun violence, violence prevention, and criminal justice. We are not alone
in this work; we seek ways to work with our ecumenical and inter-religious partners, with other
faith groups, and with other organizations that share our goals.
Meeting in 2018, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council acknowledged that churches
hold fast to a message of peace while living in contexts of violence. The LWF general secretary
implored member churches “to accept these challenging times as a Kairos to be the church, a time
to draw from the deep sources of faith so as never to be driven away from the message of the
liberating grace of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.”
In some ways we have become inured to gun violence. We must become re-sensitized. This 60-
day resource of prayer, scripture, church teaching, and information bids us to face the painful
truth about gun violence and to work for its prevention through the message of Christ for the
sake of the gospel.
We hope this resource will help guide us as a community of believers to follow Jesus’ call to be
peacemakers, to pursue justice, and to protect the vulnerable.”