This morning in Salt Lake City Episcopalians Against Gun Violence gathered before Sunday Eucharist at General Convention to witness against the culture of violence in the United States. Led by Bishops Against Gun Violence, 60 bishops and many others attending #GC78 marched through the streets of the city.
The Living Church has the story
About 1,500 people lined up behind 79 bishops for an early Sunday-morning march along the streets of Salt Lake City in a rally against gun violence in the streets of Salt Lake City.
In speeches, prayers, and hymns, the Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence rally denounced a rash of gunshot deaths in the United States. Gunshot survivors, including Utah Bishop Scott Hayashi and mall-shooting victim Carolyn Tuft, shared their stories.
“I’m here to protect you from this horrible life,” said Carolyn Tuft, who lost her daughter in the 2007 Trolley Square Mall massacre and nearly died herself. She said pellets lodged in her kidney, spine, lung, and tissues have left her constantly battling lead poisoning, pain, and nausea. “I’m always hearing people say: ‘If I would have had a gun, I would have stopped him,’” Tuft said. “I’m telling you right now: If I would have been armed with a gun, there’s nothing I could have done to change anything. The outcome would have been exactly the same. There was no time to react.”
From the Deseret News today:
A prayerful procession led by some 60 Episcopalian bishops traveled through downtown Salt Lake City on Sunday morning calling for an end to the “unholy trinity” of poverty, racism and gun violence.
Hundreds of people, many of them taking part in the Episcopal Church‘s 78th General Convention, walked from the Salt Palace Convention Center to Pioneer Park, joining in song and prayer. Utahns from anti-gun violence groups and civil rights organizations also took part.
“We are here because that unholy trinity threatens the life of us all,” said the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop-elect of the Episcopal Church. “But we are really here because there is another trinity. There is another trinity that is not an unholy trinity. There is another trinity that is a holy trinity. It is a life-giving trinity.”
The Deseret News reported before the event:
Bishop Beckwith said Claiming Common Ground is an example of the Episcopal Church’s long-held practice of wading into difficult social issues.
“We’re making a witness and we intend to offer that up in prayer, hope, solidarity and peace,” he said.
The bottom line is gun safety.
“What we’re doing is, we’re raising up an issue a lot of people agree on but are sometimes inhibited to say or to witness to their convictions because a very small minority in vocal in saying ‘Oh, we can’t do this.’ We can do this and we can identify all of these areas where we have common agreement,” Bishop Beckwith said.
The event, called Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence, [was to] begin at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, outside the Salt Palace Convention Center on the northwest corner of West Temple and South 200, said Bishop Mark Beckwith of Newark, a co-convener of Bishops United.
The service will last roughly one hour and cover a one-mile route, Beckwith said. It will include opening prayers, a stop for testimony in nearby Pioneer Park, and concluding prayers outside the Salt Palace.
Bishop Scott Hayashi of Utah, who survived a gunshot wound as a young man, will be among the speakers. Bishop Jeff Lee of Chicago, Dent Davidson, music chaplain for the House of Bishops, and the Rev. Lester Mackenzie, chaplain to the House of Deputies, will lead prayers and music during the procession.
“The debate over gun violence in our country has become polarized, but it need not be that way,” Beckwith said. “There is broad agreement among people who own guns and people who don’t that universal background checks and other common sense measure save lives while protecting the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. We want to focus the attention of our church and the broader public on these common sense reforms, and muster the political will to see them enacted.”
Added: ENS has Gun violence victim Carolyn Tuft speaks at prayerful procession, Bishop Curry speaks at prayerful procession against gun violence, and Former police officer Gayle Fischer-Stewart speaks at prayerful procession against gun violence.