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Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend | March 13-16, 2014

What is the 2014 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend?
Places of worship across the nation are joining the Washington National Cathedral 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 continue the discussion on how communities of faith can work together to help reduce gun violence.

The weekend will include events from coast to coast, including a centerpiece kickoff event at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on the evening of Thursday, March 13.

See a list of some of the participating congregations here.

The 2014 Schedule:
Thursday, March 13: Kickoff National Event at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Friday, March 14, through Sunday, March 16: Thousands of places of worship participate through prayer, education, acts of kindness and action.

In 2013, we had just three weeks and had hundreds of events. This year, we’re mobilizing early and hope to turn hundreds into thousands — we need your participation!

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

Does your organization have member congregations? Below are two bulletins/inserts you can use to spread the word:
GET SABBATH FLYER

GET SPECIAL MESSAGE BULLETIN

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

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

Faith, Power and Love – Rev. Isaac Miller (2010),
Courtesy of Heeding God’s Call (View/ Download PDF)

Hope, Community, Action! – Therese Miller (2010),
Courtesy of Heeding God’s Call (View/Download PDF)

Words of Comfort, Words of Hope – UCC Pastors across Connecticut
Courtesy of National Council of Churches (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 13-16, thousands of places of worship across the country will participate in the 2014 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. There are many ways to participate – please join us.
SIGN UP HERE

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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 for 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)

Mi Shebeirach
A Time of Anxiety
Faith
After a Trauma
A Prayer for Prayer
Tefilat Haderech
We Cannot Pray to You
Introductory Prayer
It is Never Too Late
A Song for Courage
Efficacy of Prayer
Acknowledging the Difficulty of Prayer
Bless Me with Courage
A Time of Disappointment
God Listens
When Burdens are Too Heavy
When I am Lost
Embracing Life (3 Prayers)
Help Me, O God, in my Time of Need
The Echo of Your Promise
Nearer to You
Praised be the Lord of Imperfection
God, Make me Brave for Life
Metaphors
Prayer for a Loss
Healing
Freefall
Reflection on Psalm 42
A Tree
Worth Saving

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 2014 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend!
ADD YOUR CONGREGATION

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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 2014 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is simple and impactful! List your place of worship today.
LIST PLACE OF WORSHIP

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 2014 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend!
SIGN UP HERE

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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 2014
Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath: $75,000
Please help with a tax-deductible gift.
CONTRIBUTE HERE

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/Universalist
SERMONS
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 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

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.

Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is March 13-16, 2014.
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. All rights reserved