A statement from the SJAG regarding the recent events at Oxford School, November 30, 2021
As members of the world community, followers of Christian teachings, and members of First Presbyterian Church, we are called to offer our prayers of condolence and sympathy to the many people, young and old, directly affected by the tragic shooting at Oxford High School this week. May the Lord provide some solace to the grieving families and friends experiencing such unimaginable loss. So too must we find a way to forgive the tortured 15 year-old shooter and his mis-guided parents whose actions seemed to make their son’s evil behavior possible. This will be no easy task.
While such a response to this crisis may provide temporary comfort to us all, we MUST address factors that continue to lead to the shooting deaths of over 100 Americans daily (young, old, student, depressed, victim of partner violence, inquisitive child). Offering our prayers and support to victims is not enough.
The Gun Violence Prevention sub-group of the Social Justice Action Group at First Presbyterian Ann Arbor offers the following link and attachment to prompt further meaningful discussion and actions to help prevent the ongoing loss of life from guns in our cities and towns.
Senator Chris Murphy on Gun Violence:
Click here to read the 10 Modest Steps to Cut Gun Violence (NYTimes)
With sadness and determination,
Jim Peggs, coordinator, Gun Violence Prevention sub-group
December 3, 2021
A Call to Address Gun Violence
While we are painfully aware that more than 100 Americans die each day from guns, the recent spate of mass shootings in this country has again heightened our sense of urgency to take action to stem the tide of gun deaths. As an initial response in 2019, First Presbyterian Church Ann Arbor produced the following statement to serve as a guide for our congregation to address this societal scourge with prayer and potential action.
Please read the statement below and consider how you might help in this cause.
First Presbyterian Ann Arbor Commitment to Reduce Gun Violence
We, as members of First Presbyterian Church, in an effort to model the love and the care of Jesus Christ in the world, commit ourselves to work actively to increase the respect and sanctity for life in our community and across our nation. We hear Jesus’s call to us to be peacemakers and lift up this special concern as we pray, worship, study and take action together in the world to reduce gun violence.
We believe we should love our enemies and follow the commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” We will pursue peace through non-violence. We are called to love and bear one another’s burdens without fear, without judgment, without resentment, without enabling, without condemnation and without guilt. We are called to generously share God’s grace with all people.
We agree that as Christians, we will work to diminish fear and violence. We will work to increase our love and safety in a Christian community that allows for differences and opinions. We are not of one mind about the appropriateness of owning or carrying handguns for personal safety. We acknowledge that this discussion is not about guns used for hunting or shooting sports.
As a Christian community, we commit to supporting our neighbors and caring for one another. We commit to welcoming, protecting, and educating our congregation and community. We commit to providing a safe place of worship. We commit to continual prayer for an end to gun violence.
We commit to providing a safe place of worship
We commit to educating our congregation and community
We commit to working in partnership for action and advocacy
We commit to continual prayer for an end to gun violence
Link to PCUSA Resolution-Gun Violence-Gospel Values, Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call:
You Can Take Action Now
Download and mail a postcard to your legislator now:
Click here to Take Action on Background Checks
Click here for more Resources for Gun Violence Prevention
For more information on how you can get involved, please email the Social Justice Action Group at firstname.lastname@example.org