Next week we will again erect the Memorial to the Lost in the church yard. Some describe it as a t-shirt graveyard, and it feels that way. Each shirt marks one of the 205 lives lost in our region during 2016 to gun violence. They were young and old — from Maryland and DC and northern Virginia- every loss a sudden end to life given by God.
The plague is violence in our culture.And the plague is the use of guns to kill other human beings.
This is the third year we have partnered with Hyattsville Mennonite Church to host the Heeding God’s Call Memorial. Days after we put it up in 2015, Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people at a Bible study in Charleston. Shortly after we erected the Memorial in 2016, Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
And this week in 2017, we grieve yet another mass shooting, as the entire country laments the senseless deaths in Las Vegas.
So we will erect the Memorial and will remember and pray and pledge ourselves to making change…again.
Because we believe that there is another way of living.
Because we think that there are connections to be made between reliance on guns in private and in national and international arenas.
Because we have known a reality in Christ that reminds us of the value of every person.
Because there are sensible gun regulations for which we must advocate that will protect life .
Because symbolic action leads us toward hope!