The Gun Violence Prevention, Action and Response Network addresses the gun violence epidemic.
Our work grows out of the need for the voice of the church at the grassroots level to engage theologically, spiritually and pastorally in the gun violence epidemic, specifically in the Northeast of the United States.
Our foundation is based on the overture to the 221st General Assembly in 2014. It was developed to emphasize resolutions from that overture and the PC (U.S.A.) policy statement, Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call, encouraging action at all denominational levels. The overture originated in the Presbytery of Hudson River and received four out of six concurrences from presbyteries in the Synod of the Northeast.
The Network’s mission is to connect Presbyterians who are passionate about gun violence prevention, action and response in order to develop and compile materials to educate and mobilize individuals, congregations and presbyteries on this very important issue. The network will also actively tell stories of action, study, grief and provide other resources about leaders, congregations and presbyteries involved in this work. We seek to add our unique voice, in both word and action, to the conversation surrounding the gun violence epidemic in our region.
Why is the Network necessary?
Each year in the United States there are over 30,000 deaths attributable to gun violence. This includes suicides, homicides and accidental deaths. Additionally, there are tens of thousands of others injured by guns in mass shootings, gang violence, accidental discharges, domestic violence and other incidents. Our Network seeks to educate and advocate within our communities so that we can take the necessary actions to have a positive impact on these statistics.
Who can join the Network?
Any Presbyterian in the Synod of the Northeast may join our network. If you’d like to join the network, either as an active participant or as a recipient of our emails and other communications, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your desired level of participation. There is no need to be a ruling or teaching elder to be in the Network and you will not be required to attend every meeting.
What do we hope to accomplish?
We believe that we are called as people of God, particularly as Presbyterians, to do whatever we can to reduce the amount of death and grief caused by gun violence in our society. Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call, (adopted in 2010) calls us to “encourage the church at every level, from individual member to congregation, presbytery, synod and national church, to become informed and active in preventing gun violence” and urges that “the church take responsibility to build public awareness of gun violence and the epidemic of preventable gun-related deaths.” The Overture On Gun Violence Prevention (adopted in 2014) directs and encourages the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to take specific actions in response to Gun Violence, Gospel Values. The Network hopes to provide Presbyterians in the Synod of the Northeast with the support and resources necessary to make a positive impact in the communities, churches, and presbyteries of our region.
We don’t claim to have all of the answers to this problem. We seek guidance from God as we discern the courses of action we take and hope to save the precious lives our Creator has bestowed on this earth, God’s kingdom.
Want to know more?
Interested in joining the Gun Violence Prevention, Action and Response Network?