Executive Director Michael Ramos reflects on a prayer service he attended this past Sunday regarding gun violence, specifically the Parkland shooting, and offers a prayer:
Hearing the names of the Florida shooting victims, seeing their pictures, listening to synopses of their lives, as an assembly of people of faith and community did on Sunday night – and in prayers and religious services throughout the weekend – hit home for this father and husband, son and grandson, friend and colleague. The dreams of these young children of God, shattered, and their families, friends and loved ones, shredded in tears, felt like an overwhelming hurricane gust tearing at the social fabric in our land. From Columbine to Sandy Hook to Charleston, from Orlando to Las Vegas to Parkland, God weeps with us. And does not stop there. God breathes in us – beginning with the unashamed and unafraid children – the possibility of the country awash in gun violence turning from spears to pruning hooks, one act at a time. Washington State has taken important steps forward, but much more needs to be done. Let us not shirk our response-ability in this time of trial.
I offer a prayer to go with our action.
As we cry to You once again with hearts broken and plead, “How long?” we thank you for reminding us that our grief and our anger propel us to action. The names, faces, families and stories of your beloved victims touch us at our core and affirm with You that all life is sacred. You say that each person is worthy of dignity and respect, and so You call out of us common sense measures to end gun violence that hold the promise to protect children in our schools and our entire community.
Free us from our societal addiction to guns and the glorification of violence that left unaddressed can harm and destroy us all. Open our mouths to proclaim the praise of You, who denounces the idolatry of gun violence. May we feel your power which heals the brokenhearted, so that we might cure the dis-ease of blockages to cooperation and legislation that protects the health of all of us and stems the proliferation of assault weapons and the means to kill the innocent.
Strengthen us for the long haul, so that day-by-day we might do your will, to break the yoke of inaction and complicity and bind us together for the common purpose of justice-in-love. Remind us of our true security in You. Inspire us to dismantle senseless opportunities for gun violence and to restore our belief and courageous witness to our shared humanity.
Lead us to passage of the Enhanced Assault Weapons Background Check bills (HB 1387, SB 5444).
O Lord, You have granted us the capacity to be moved. Instill in us the capacity to act. Amen.
Prayer adapted from version offered by Michael Ramos at Vigil for Parkland Victims, Edmonds United Methodist Church, February 18, 2018
We also share with you recent reflections offered by local faith leaders:
“Gun Control Alone Can’t Solve the Problem of Dehumanizing Violence” by Rabbi David Basior
“In Response to Violence” by the Rt. Rev. Edward Donalson III, DMin