March Sabbath Overlay 2015

 

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/March 19-22

Pledge your congregation's participation in the 2015 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, March 19-22

Following the great success of the 2nd annual National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend in March 2014 in nearly 1,000 places of worship in 46 states and the District of Columbia, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence and the Washington National Cathedral call all people of faith across the nation to keep the drumroll going by pledging and planning now for even more impactful events in 2015!

Join places of worship across the nation, the Washington National Cathedral and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of more than 50 national denominations and faith-based organizations, to remember those who have lost their lives to gunfire, pray for those whose lives have been forever changed because of the loss of a loved one, and to educate one another on proven strategies to reduce gun violence.

Schedule for March 19-22, 2015:

Thursday, March 19: Sabbath Weekend Kickoff at the Washington National Cathedral
Friday – Sunday, March 20-22: Congregations across the nation participate via prayer, song, vigils and education

Need inspiration? Check out some of the 2014 participants and pictures of their events using the button immediately below.  

See participants

 

 

 

Below, you will find resources provided by national, state and local faith organizations to help you plan a prayer, moment of reflection, call to action and more.  Or you can jump to your faith tradition's resources by clicking one of these quick links:

Buddhism
Christianity
Hinduism
Judaism
Islam
Sikh
Unitarian Universalist

Handout

Share the facts.

Hand out this educational piece

to congregants

before, during, or after your

gun violence prevention service!

 

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Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

/Christianity

 

SAMPLE CHRISTIAN SERMONS AND PRAYERS 

Get Out of the Gun Empire with Father Abraham - Dr. Linda Gaither (2014)
Courtesy of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (View)

Childrens Sermon on Gun Violence Outline
Adapted from "Walking Cheerfully"
w/ Special Thanks to Swarthmore United Methodist Church (View)

Peace & Reconciliation Are Costly – Dr. Linda Gaither (2013)
Given at the National Executive Council of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (View)

Episcopal Sermons (2012)
Courtesy of Episcopal Cafe (View)

A Holy and Broken Hallelujah – Fr. Funston (2012)
Courtesy of St. Paul's Episcopal Church (View)

Collected Prayers (2012)
Courtesy of One Step Closer Blog (View)

Advent Sermon on Newtown Tragedy – Rev. Denise Yarbrough (2012)
Courtesy of Interfaith Conversations Blog (View)

Agents of Advent – Bishop Jeffrey Lee (2012)
Courtesy of Episcopal Bishops Against Gun Violence (View)

Enough. Is. Enough – Rev. Lauren R. Stanley (2012)
Courtesy of Emmanuel Episcopal Church (Staunton, VA) (View)

Repentance Means Becoming Human – Rev. Mike Marsh (2012) (View)

Sermon & Statement on Violence – Rev. Jill Job Saxby (2012)
Courtesy of Maine Council of Churches (View)

Hope Has Two Daughters: Anger & Courage – Rev. Shannan R. Vance-Ocampo (2012)
Courtesy of Justice Unbound and the Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church (View)

The God of All Comfort – RCA General Secretary Tom De Vries (2012)
Courtesy of the Reformed Church in America (View)

 

HYMNS

"God of Mercy, You Have Shown Us" Hymn – Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
Courtesy of the Presbyterian Church USA (View/ Download)

"God We Have Heard It" Hymn – Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
Courtesy of the Presbyterian Church USA (View/ Download)

 

CHRISTIAN RESOURCES/ INSPIRATION

Lectionary on Gun Violence (North Carolina Council of Churches)

David and Goliath: Faith Based Approaches to Gun Violence Prevention

God Not Guns Worship Guide (Brady Center)

What Your Church Can Do about Gun Violence  (Baptist Peace Fellowship)

Preventing Gun Violence Study Guide (Mennonite)

Gun Violence, Gospel Values Study Guide (Presbyterian Church USA)

Overcoming Violence Study Guide (United Church of Christ)

Worship/prayer resources (National Council of Churches USA)

Gun Violence Prevention Worship Resources (Presbyterian Church USA)

Curbing the Out-of-Control Numbers of Gun Deaths in the US (Just Peacemaking Initiative)

American Baptist Home Mission Societies Public Witness Statement on Gun Violence

 

EVENT IDEAS

Sermon & Education
Deliver a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath sermon, invite reporters to attend, and provide gun violence prevention information/activities to congregants.

Shoes we can never fill
Provide the visual of empty shoes or clothes on a clothesline outside church and invite media to vigil. See examples of the powerful imagery of shoes here.

Points of Light
Light thousands of tealight candles depicting the number of people who have been lost to gun violence since Newtown or light candles representing the number of local gun violence victims. (A helpful calculator showing how many gun deaths since Newtown is available here.)

Vigil & Vocals
Hold a vigil or church service with choir outside member of Congress's office. While church choir is singing, have names of gun violence victims read. Intersperse lines of psalms with names of gun violence victims. (Resource: Short vigil sermon courtesy of the Maine Council of Churches)

Fasting for Action
A communal fast – have a continuous 2,000 hour fast (12 weeks) where people commit to fasting for one day outside elected officials’ office for gun violence victims.

Acts of Kindness
Perform a specific number of acts of kindness to honor the number lost to gun violence in your community since Newtown.

 

Have a sermon, prayer, hymn or other resource you would like to submit? Please contact us.

Between March 19-22, more than a thousand places of worship across the country will participate in the 2015 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. There are many ways to participate – please join us.

live

Do not stand
idly by the blood
of your neighbor.

/Judaism

For Jewish congregations celebrating Purim, we welcome your participation either on the weekend of Mar 14-16 or the weekend of Mar 21-23. 

SAMPLE SERMONS

Kavvanot & Meditations (2013)
Courtesy of the Jewish Center for Public Affairs (View/Download)

An Armed Amalek: Why We Must Not Stand Idly By – Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk (2012), Courtesy of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, OH (View/Download PDF)

Yes, This Is A Sermon on Gun Control – Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin (2012) (View/Download)

 

RESOURCES/ INSPIRATION

Gun Violence Prevention Community Resource Guide (Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism)

Source Sheet on Gun Violence (Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg and the Rabbinical Assembly)

Kaddish for Gun Violence Shabbat (Rabbi Richard Plavin)

A Surprising Sugya on Responsibility and Weapons Sales (Rabbi David Weiner)

Sample prayers (Congregation Knesset Israel/ Brady Campaign)

 

PRAYERS AND READINGS FOR TIMES OF TRAGEDY

(courtesy of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism)

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

EVENT IDEAS

Sermon & Education
Deliver a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath sermon, invite reporters to attend, and provide gun violence prevention information/activities to congregants.

Shoes we can never fill
Provide the visual of empty shoes or clothes on a clothesline outside church and invite media to vigil. See examples of the powerful imagery of shoes here.

Points of Light
Light thousands of tealight candles depicting the number of people who have been lost to gun violence since Newtown or light candles representing the number of local gun violence victims. (A helpful calculator showing how many gun deaths since Newtown is available here.)

Vigil & Vocals
Hold a vigil or church service with choir outside member of Congress's office. While church choir is singing, have names of gun violence victims read. Intersperse lines of psalms with names of gun violence victims.

Fasting for Action
A communal fast – have a continuous 2,000 hour fast (12 weeks) where people commit to fasting for one day outside elected officials’ office for gun violence victims.

Acts of Kindness
Perform a specific number of acts of kindness to honor the number lost to gun violence in your community since Newtown.

 

Have a sermon, prayer, hymn or other resource you would like to submit? Please contact us.

 

Add your place of worship as a participant in the 2015 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, March 19-22!

live

/Islam

Prayers

Collection of Islamic Prayers for Peace

Muslim Prayers for Peace
Courtesy of Muslim Peace Fellowship

Have a sermon, prayer, hymn or other resource you would like to submit? Please contact us.

 

EVENT IDEAS

Sermon & Education
Deliver a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath sermon, invite reporters to attend, and provide gun violence prevention information/activities to congregants.

Shoes we can never fill
Provide the visual of empty shoes or clothes on a clothesline outside place of worship and invite media to vigil. See examples of the powerful imagery of shoes here.

Points of Light
Light thousands of tealight candles depicting the number of people who have been lost to gun violence since Newtown or light candles representing the number of local gun violence victims. (A helpful but less than accurate calculator showing how many gun deaths since Newtown is available here.)

Vigil & Vocals
Hold a vigil or worship service with choir outside member of Congress’s office. While choir is singing, have names of gun violence victims read. Intersperse lines of psalms with names of gun violence victims.

Fasting for Action
A communal fast – have a continuous 2,000 hour fast (12 weeks) where people commit to fasting for one day outside elected officials’ office for gun violence victims.

Acts of Kindness
Perform a specific number of acts of kindness to honor the number lost to gun violence in your community since Newtown.

 

Participating in the 2015 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is simple and impactful! List your place of worship today.

live

May peace
radiate

in the sky
as well as in the vast ethereal
space
everywhere.

/Hinduism

Hindu Prayer for Peace

May peace radiate in the sky as well as in the vast ethereal space everywhere.

May peace reign all over this earth, in water and in all herbs, trees, and creepers.

May peace flow over the whole universe.

May peace be in the Absolute Reality.

And may there always exist in all peace and peace alone.

Aum! May our environment be peaceful. May the external forces be peaceful.  May we all have inner peace.

Aum! May the Absolute protect all

May the Absolute nourish all
May we work together with great energy,
May our studies be vigorous and effective;
May we not not hate one another
Aum! May our environment be peaceful. May the external forces be peaceful.  May we all have inner peace.

Have a sermon, prayer, hymn or other resource you would like to submit? Please contact us.

 

Hindu Resources on Ahimsa or Non-Hurting

Ahimsa by Swami Sivananda

Ahimsa – the Cosmic Law of Non-Hurting

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on Ahimsa

Vaishnavism and Ahimsa

Swami Chinmayananda – The Three Principles: Self-control, Non-Hurting, and Truthfulness

EVENT IDEAS

Sermon & Education
Deliver a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath sermon or reading, invite reporters to attend, and provide gun violence prevention information/activities to congregants.

Shoes we can never fill
Provide the visual of empty shoes or clothes on a clothesline outside place of worship and invite media to vigil. See examples of the powerful imagery of shoes here.

Points of Light
Light thousands of tealight candles depicting the number of people who have been lost to gun violence since Newtown or light candles representing the number of local gun violence victims. (A helpful but less than accurate calculator showing how many gun deaths since Newtown is available here.)

Vigil & Vocals
Hold a vigil or worship service with choir outside member of Congress’s office. While choir is singing, have names of gun violence victims read. Intersperse lines of psalms with names of gun violence victims.

Fasting for Action
A communal fast – have a continuous 2,000 hour fast (12 weeks) where people commit to fasting for one day outside elected officials’ office for gun violence victims.

Acts of Kindness
Perform a specific number of acts of kindness to honor the number lost to gun violence in your community since Newtown.

 

Stand with thousands of places of worship across the country. Sign up to participate in the 2015 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend!

 

 

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/Sikh

Sikh Prayers

 Sikh Prayer for Peace

Sikh Prayer That Longs for a World at Peace

Have a sermon, prayer, hymn or other resource you would like to submit? Please contact us.

 

EVENT IDEAS

Sermon & Education
Deliver a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath sermon, invite reporters to attend, and provide gun violence prevention information/activities to congregants.

Shoes we can never fill
Provide the visual of empty shoes or clothes on a clothesline outside place of worship and invite media to vigil. See examples of the powerful imagery of shoes here.

Points of Light
Light thousands of tealight candles depicting the number of people who have been lost to gun violence since Newtown or light candles representing the number of local gun violence victims. (A helpful but less than accurate calculator showing how many gun deaths since Newtown is available here.)

Vigil & Vocals
Hold a vigil or worship service with choir outside member of Congress’s office. While choir is singing, have names of gun violence victims read. Intersperse lines of psalms with names of gun violence victims.

Fasting for Action
A communal fast – have a continuous 2,000 hour fast (12 weeks) where people commit to fasting for one day outside elected officials’ office for gun violence victims.

Acts of Kindness
Perform a specific number of acts of kindness to honor the number lost to gun violence in your community since Newtown.

 

The cost to organize the 2015
Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath: $75,000

Please help with a tax-deductible gift.

live

/Universalist

SERMONS

At Our Worst – Rev. Kate R. Walker accompanied by Lori Haas (2014)
Courtesy of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church (View)

Fear, Anger and Rejection Meet Love, Compassion and Acceptance – Rev. Kate R. Walker (2014) Courtesy of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church (View)

Call to Arms for Protection – Rev. Kate R. Walker (2014)
Courtesy of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church (View)

Politics of the Broken-Hearted – Rev. Dr. J. Carl Gregg (2012)
Courtesy of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland (View)

Preventing Gun Violence - - Rev. Dr. J. Carl Gregg (2013)
Courtesy of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland (View)

 

Have a sermon, prayer, hymn or other resource you would like to submit? Please contact us.

 

EVENT IDEAS

Sermon & Education
Deliver a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath sermon, invite reporters to attend, and provide gun violence prevention information/activities to congregants.

Shoes we can never fill
Provide the visual of empty shoes or clothes on a clothesline outside place of worship and invite media to vigil. See examples of the powerful imagery of shoes here.

Points of Light
Light thousands of tealight candles depicting the number of people who have been lost to gun violence since Newtown or light candles representing the number of local gun violence victims. (A helpful but less than accurate calculator showing how many gun deaths since Newtown is available here.)

Vigil & Vocals
Hold a vigil or worship service with choir outside member of Congress's office. While choir is singing, have names of gun violence victims read. Intersperse lines of psalms with names of gun violence victims.

Fasting for Action
A communal fast – have a continuous 2,000 hour fast (12 weeks) where people commit to fasting for one day outside elected officials’ office for gun violence victims.

Acts of Kindness
Perform a specific number of acts of kindness to honor the number lost to gun violence in your community since Newtown.

 

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/Contact

Have questions, comments or suggestions about the 2015 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend? Send us a message.

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/Buddhism

PRAYERS FOR PEACE

General Prayer for Peace
Invocation of Peace
Golden Chain
Prayer of Lovingkindness
May Peace Harmonious
Bodhisattva Prayer for Humanity
We Pray for Peace
 

EVENT IDEAS

Sermon & Education
Deliver a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath sermon or reading, invite reporters to attend, and provide gun violence prevention information/activities to congregants.

Shoes we can never fill
Provide the visual of empty shoes or clothes on a clothesline outside place of worship and invite media to vigil. See examples of the powerful imagery of shoes here.

Points of Light
Light thousands of tealight candles depicting the number of people who have been lost to gun violence since Newtown or light candles representing the number of local gun violence victims. (A helpful but less than accurate calculator showing how many gun deaths since Newtown is available here.)

Vigil & Vocals
Hold a vigil or worship service with choir outside member of Congress's office. While choir is singing, have names of gun violence victims read. Intersperse lines of psalms with names of gun violence victims.

Fasting for Action
A communal fast – have a continuous 2,000 hour fast (12 weeks) where people commit to fasting for one day outside elected officials’ office for gun violence victims.

Acts of Kindness
Perform a specific number of acts of kindness to honor the number lost to gun violence in your community since Newtown.

The 2015 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is March 19-22.

The National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is a joint project of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence -- a coalition of 50 national faith denominations and groups -- and the Washington National Cathedral. Copyright © 2014-2015. All rights reserved