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Honoring Survivors of Gun Violence

Honoring Survivors of Gun Violence:
A small group* in our congregation has begun to meet to discuss what we can do as a congregation and in partnership with other local congregations or organizations to respond to gun violence. We have begun to develop some ideas for taking actions to increase awareness, educate ourselves, and advocate for effective change.

As a start, these are some of the immediate actions that we can take to lift up survivors and assure them we are working hard together to end gun violence.
#WearOrange to Church This Sunday, June 5, 2022: This Sunday, we ask that you wear orange or an orange ribbon (provided at the church) as a way to join in acknowledging the lives of people in the United States affected by gun violence, and elevating the voices of those demanding an end to this crisis. Other #WearOrange events are happening in our community this weekend. National Gun Violence Awareness Day is an annual event that takes place on the first Friday in June, and is the beginning of Wear Orange Weekend, June 3-5, 2022. Other events in our community are listed below.

Write a Letter/Postcard to National and State Representatives: For those who wish, we will also have available in Parish Hall instructions for a letter/postcard writing campaign to advocate for addressing gun violence in our country, state and local area. To access the instructions online, please click here. *Responding to Gun Violence Task Group Judy Govatos, Becky Laster, Jeff Lott, Darlene Scott and Rev. Larry Peers have started the exploration of First Unitarian’s response to gun violence. If you are interested in joining this task group in our congregation, please send an email to Becky Laster blaster102@verizon.net or Rev. Larry Peers at larry@firstuuwilm.org. Our next planning meeting is Monday, June 6th at 11:00 a.m. by Zoom—so send an email to Becky or Larry for this Zoom information if you are available for the next meeting. Please put: “Responding to Gun Violence” in the subject line.

Other Events in Our Community:
Friday, June 3 at dusk Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki will proclaim Friday, June 3 to be Gun Violence Survivor Awareness Day. Visit one of the many buildings and landmarks in Wilmington that will be lit up orange to honor the more than 110 Americans killed by guns and hundreds more wounded every day

First Friday Walk for Justice and Peace
Friday, June 3, 5:30–6:00 p.m. (rain or shine)
Start: The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (SsAM), 719 N. Shipley Street
End: Rodney Square
This Friday we will be re-launching the First Friday Walks for Justice and Peace and will try to spread the word to “wear orange” for this event. Join us in this series of peaceful walks through the center of Wilmington to promote an end to racial and social injustice. We gather in the SsAM parking lot with people of various faiths to share in this active commitment to justice and peace in our community. We walk in silence, carrying battery-powered candles. Wilmington staff support this walk by holding traffic at cross streets. It is a very moving experience! Following the walk, visit the Chris White Gallery, a two-level exhibition space at Shipley Artist Lofts (701 N. Shipley Street). The Gallery serves the greater Wilmington community as a place for contemporary art.
The closing reception on Friday, June 3, is part of the Wilmington Art Loop and features refreshments and music.

Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m. Celebrating Lives Lost
Trinity Episcopal Church 1108 North Adams Street in Wilmington for Celebrating Lives Lost. We will come together as a community and honor our gun violence survivors and their families.

Thursday, June 9, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom – Let’s Talk About It: Gun Violence in America – Where Do We Go From Here? Facts, Figures, Dialogue
Facilitated by Traci Murphy, Executive Director, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence
Zoom information: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86027521655
What words do we use to describe the apparently unending swell of gun violence in America? Epidemic? Public health crisis? Culture? Merriam Webster defines culture as “the characteristic features of everyday existence or a way of life for an entire society.” Do we accept the ongoing slaughter of children, grocery shoppers, worshippers, students, concertgoers – the list is seemingly endless and could include each one of us? Is this a price we’re willing to pay for freedom? Is meaningful dialogue across the great divide of opinion even possible? Join us as we ground ourselves in some data and statistics, then share our perspectives, questions, suggestions as we seek a path forward.

As a refresher, here is a link to our 2014 Board Position Statement on Gun Violence Prevention, here.