Witness for an End to Gun Violence " April 19 in Lexington, MA

April 03, 2013

Rev. Leigh Dry, pastor of Lexington UMC in Lexington, MA, and the Board of Church & Society of the New England Conference invite you to join with people of faith and goodwill, in response to a "pro-gun rally" being held by members of Guns Rights Across America on the Lexington Battle Green on Friday, April 19. Learn more about the rally here.

United Methodists, both clergy and lay, from across the New England Conference and beyond are invited to come to Lexington on April 19 at 10:30 am to take part in a counter-rally event sponsored by the Lexington Interfaith Clergy Association.  Those who are able to participate are invited to meet Rev. Dry at Lexington United Methodist Church, 2600 Mass Avenue, at 10:30 am. The group will then head to the Battle Green, and gather at Hancock Church near the Green, to voice opposition to this dangerous message.  A press conference and time of storytelling by victims of gun violence will be held at Hancock before the rally starts.

Every day on average, eight children and teens in America die from gun violence. In one year on average, more than 100,000 people in America are shot or killed with a gun, and 31,537 people die from gun violence. States with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the highest rates of overall gun death, and states with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Among 23 high-income countries studied, 80% of all firearm deaths occurred in the United States, which has more firearms per capita and the most permissive gun control laws of all the countries studied.

Our United Methodist General Conference has called United Methodists to "develop advocacy groups within local congregations to advocate for the eventual reduction of the availability of guns in society… and to support federal legislation in the U.S. Congress to regulate the importation, manufacturing, sale and possession of guns and ammunition by the general public. Such legislation should include provisions for the registration and licensing of gun purchasers and owners, appropriate background investigation and waiting periods prior to gun purchase, and regulation of subsequent sale."

If you know someone who has a story to tell about gun violence, let Leigh know so you might be included in the testimonies shared that day.

Clergy, please wear stoles and clerical collars or robes if possible.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

For more information, contact Rev. Dry: leighdry@verizon.net or 508-308-4836.