From the Diocese of Missouri:
“People of faith must challenge the tragedy of gun violence and I lend my voice to that challenge,” said the Rt. Rev. Wayne Smith, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. “The devastation and grief that follow mass shootings call for prayer, certainly, but they also require action from us. The gun violence in our region, happening nearly every day, calls for the same.” Today Bishop Smith, announced the appointment of the Rev. Marc D. Smith, Ph.D., as Bishop’s Deputy for Gun Violence Prevention.
As well as addressing the issue as a public health problem, and identifying it in the churches as a public health crisis, Marc Smith hopes to develop specific strategies with verifiable outcomes to reduce gun violence. However,
One thing Bishop Smith’s appointment is not is as a political, legislative advocate. While Dr. Smith hopes that people of faith and people in healthcare may choose to shape legislation, “organizationally that will not be our role. Public debate about the many factors associated with gun violence is essential, but our work will be to intervene directly to decrease these numbers now.” This part of the work is missional to Dr. Smith, and he plans to share this message through church pulpits. …
This position began as a conversation two years ago at an Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust (EPHT) board meeting which Bishop Smith chairs and Dr. Smith serves as member. It came from the desire to “do something strategic, proactive, and highly focused” in the area of gun violence prevention, said Dr. Smith.
Before he was ordained an Episcopal priest in June of 2011, Dr. Smith was Chief Executive Officer and President of the Missouri Hospital Association from 1998 to September 2009. He led the association in access to health care services for the poor, and enhanced the transparency of hospital operations, financing and quality.
Read more about the appointment of a Deputy for Gun Violence Prevention here. Do you have ideas for how the church should be addressing gun violence reduction and prevention?
Featured image: the Rev. Dr. Marc Smith via the Living Church