March Sabbath Overlay 2015

 

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/December 11-14

Date Change Notice
This event was originally listed as March 19-22, 2015. If you are already planning your event for March 2015, we encourage you to stay with that weekend. Moving forward, the annual Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend will now be in December on the anniversary of the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. This new partnership with the people of Newtown will help us build bridges with other groups, consolidate resources and effort, and ease some of the pressure being placed on faith leaders across the country.
 
Pledge your congregation's participation in the Fall 2014 National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims and National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, December 11-14

Following the great success of the 2nd annual National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend on March 13-16, 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 are joining the Newtown Foundation and States United to Prevent Gun Violence in calling all Americans across the nation to keep the drumroll going by pledging to participate in December 2014!

Join places of worship across the nation, the Washington National Cathedral, the Newtown Foundation and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of 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 December 11-14:

Thursday, December 11: National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims at the Washington National Cathedral
Thursday – Sunday, December 11-14: Congregations across the nation participate via prayer, song, vigils and education

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

Need help?

Check out this guide written

for faith and lay leaders

to help them answer the 

tough questions and speak effectively

about gun violence prevention!

 

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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 December 11-14, hundreds of places of worship and other groups across the country will participate in the National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims and the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. There are many ways to participate – please join us.

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Do not stand
idly by the blood
of your neighbor.

/Judaism

 

SAMPLE SERMONS

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)

 

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 Fall 2014 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, December 11-14!

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/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 December 2014 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 Fall 2014 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend!

 

 

live

/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.

 

Ideas For Your Congregation:

• Hold a candlelight vigil
• Dedicate your service to non-violence
• Say a prayer to end gun violence and pass out educational flyer

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/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 Fall 2014 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
Dedication for a Meaningful Life
Dedication from "Guide to a Bodhisattvas Way of Life“

 

WRITTEN INSPIRATION 

courtesy of Venerable Thubten Chodron, Sravasti Abbey

Applications of Compassion

Dealing with Emotions

Living on Automatic Versus Living from Our Heart

A Meditation for Survivors of Suicide

Teaching Children by Example

 

courtesy of Roshi Joan Halifax

The Only Way to Save the World

Compassion and the True Meaning of Empathy

Practicing G.R.A.C.E.: How to Bring Compassion Into Your Interactions With Others

Meditation for a New Perspective

 

DISCUSSION POINTS

View

 

DISCUSSIONS/ GATHERINGS (VIDEO)

Faith Leaders, This is Your Chance! (Venerable Thubten Chodron, 2013)

Part 1 :: Part 2 :: Part 3 :: Part 4

Gun Violence: It's Time For Us to Speak Out (Venerable Losang Samten, 2013)

View

Handling Emotions In Response To Mass Shootings (Venerable Thubten Chodron, 2013)

Part 1 :: Part 2 :: Part 3
 

EVENT IDEAS

Gathering & Education
Hold a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath gathering, 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 Fall 2014 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is December 11-14

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