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                  December 10, 2014   


Colorado EPF DOVE 
National Vigils for Gun Violence Victims:

Join the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship for a prayer vigil for the victims of gun violence on December 11, 2014 in the loft of the Raven Cafe in downtown Port Huron from 6:00-7:30 pm. 

There will be a number of speakers from the Church and community nonprofits from Flint to Port Huron.  The short film "Living for 32" will also be shown. 

A candlelight vigil of remembrance and resolve on Thursday, December 11 at 7:30 pm at First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street.    The vigil will feature The Reverend Liz Walker, Bishop Alan Gates, B-PEACE for Jorge teens, as well as opportunities for prayer, reflection and music. 

The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force of All Saints Episcopal Church invites the community to the Pasadena City Hall West Steps at 5:30 pm on Thursday, December 11 for the 2nd Annual Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence.  Folks with gather to remember all the lives lost to gun violence and recommit to preventing the epidemic of further gun violence and its devastating impact on individuals, families, and the community.

The Newtown Foundation in partnership with the Washington National Cathedral, States United to Prevent Gun Violence and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence will host a National Vigil at the National Cathedral on Thursday, December 11 at 3:00 pm. 

Saint James' and Saint Andrews' Episcopal Churches will host a community gun violence prevention candlelight vigil of mourning and remembrance on Sunday, Dec 14 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm at St James Episcopal Church in Greenfield, MA.  The Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts will be among the speakers that afternoon. 


          Foley Square, New York City, 12/4/14
            Photo: EPF Member, The Rev. Winnie Varghese

The recent grand jury decisions to not indict police officers for the deaths of Michael Brown & Eric Garner add another chapter of conflict and pain to the narrative of race in our country that began with the founding of our nation.  My hope is that through these tragedies of death, gun violence, police brutality and ongoing racial injustices members of Episcopal Peace Fellowship will find the courage and compassion to  pray, study and act for change.  

I invite you to heed our Presiding Bishop's request to "stand with hands extended in love, to look for the image of God in every neighbor, and to offer yourself in vulnerability for the sake of reconciliation across this land."  The events of Ferguson and Staten Island are not in the past; they will continue to happen unless the Church shows up and intervenes with words of hope, justice and service.  This is what it takes to be disciples of Jesus Christ engaged in the transformation of the world.   Waging the Gospel of Peace is a relentless venture.    -- Allison Liles, EPF Executive Director

In this day prayer is action and action is prayer.  The lines are blurred, making it even easier for you to get involved. 

Attend a Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence such as those listed in the left column or organize your own.  During Sunday worship include prayers for the victims, survivors, families, emergency response personnel and those who will minister to the community in the aftermath of gun  violence.
Use  EPF's Gun Violence Prevention curriculum in your church, EPF chapter or another small group.    Read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness and utilize the study questions in the back of the book. Talk about Ferguson this Advent using the resources  published by The Episcopal Church Missionary Society.  It includes biblical citations as well as conversation starters for children, youth and adults. 

Contact your representatives in the U.S. Congress and ask that they support  universal background checks and waiting periods for all gun purchases, along with banning semiautomatic assault weapons, armor piercing handgun ammunition and .50 caliber sniper rifles.   Ask the leaders of your church to address gun violence in worship services through periodic preaching, liturgies, prayers and education classes.   Find an action near you to Stand with Ferguson and New York or host your own using resources from Episcopal Peace Fellowship.