We continue our reflection on God’s call to us through the ELCA’s “60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence.”
DAY 53: A Few Ideas for Involving Others in Addressing Gun Violence
• Invite members of your congregation and the local community to gather for coffee or a simple meal and to talk about the issue of gun violence, its causes, the far-reaching impacts, and what’s currently happening in your state or the federal government.
• Host forums and opportunities for listening to voices from your community who have a local connection with the issue, such as someone who has been directly affected by gun violence, a police officer, trauma doctor or nurse, school counselor, parent, teacher, or elected community leader.
• Organize open, respectful conversations around the many aspects of gun violence.
• Host an advocacy letter-writing event to send personal letters to legislators and influential leaders. Provide envelopes and stamps; invite people who prefer email to bring their laptop computers. Distribute at the gathering or post on your congregation’s website the names and mailing addresses of legislators, politicians, and community leaders.
• Provide and call attention to resources and services for preventing violence and bullying, confronting racism and hate, and coping with trauma, grief, and anger. Compile these resources into a list or directory that can be distributed to congregation members and the local community, and update it regularly.
• Encourage members to sign up for ELCA Advocacy News and Alerts and the ELCA Advocacy blogs, where Lutherans share stories about public policies and relevant advocacy issues.
• Find existing ways, or create new ways, of partnering with other congregations, churches, and organizations. Pool your resources and efforts.