The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
February 27, 2013

Holy Week Witness


Join the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, the Rt. Rev. James E. Curry and the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens on the Monday of Holy Week, March 25, 2013 as we travel to Washington, D.C. to challenge violence in our world. Our witness will include time for prayer and personal reflection followed by a time of speaking out for comprehensive reform on gun legislation.


Our day will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Lafayette Square in front of St. John's Episcopal Church where the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut will offer prayers and commence the walk of the Way of the Cross. We will conclude at the West Steps of the Capitol between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Clergy are invited to wear cassocks or other appropriate clerical attire.  


At 2 p.m. we will assemble in the Montpelier Room of the Madison Building of the Library of Congress for brief remarks from Church and government leaders to support the President's call for gun reform and legislative actions pending in Congress.


The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of Washington, and Episcopalians in the Diocese of Washington have graciously partnered with us in the planning and organizing of this important witness. We look forward to other Episcopalians and ecumenical participants, from across the country, joining us.



Why are we doing this?


We are taking our witness to our nation's capital to say to our political leaders and to our country that we will no longer be silent while violence permeates our world, our society, our Church, our homes and ourselves.


Our faith calls us to be ministers of reconciliation, to give voice to the voiceless and to strive for justice in the name of our Lord. The horrific slaughter of children and adults in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown in our home state, and the day-to-day shootings and deaths of our children and young people in cities and towns across our nation, call us to prayer and action and to work for peace.  


What kind of prayer and reflection is planned?


We will follow the Way of the Cross, which is an offering of prayer at 14 Stations (stops) that invite us to recall Jesus' passion and death. Each Station will include prayer, a reading from Scripture and a short meditation. These will be read by a diversity of individuals from Connecticut, Washington, D.C. and the wider world.


We will pause at each stop to reflect on the ways violence affects our lives and offer prayers to our Lord who knows the agony of violence in his own journey to the cross. The Washington landmark chosen for each Station will help us deepen our awareness of the ache and cries of the world. The walk, and particularly the reflections at each Station, will reflect our commitment to transformational change and the proclamation of God's hope to the world.



What legislative changes are supported?   


We will call on Congress and state legislatures to:


1. Challenge the violence that infects our society by

a. Implementing comprehensive legislation and programs to decrease gun violence in all of our communities (cities and towns, suburbs and rural areas);

b. Supporting our schools in preventing violence and reducing bullying;  

c. Improving access to mental health resources for all children and families.


2. Challenge gun violence specifically by:

a. Banning military style weapons ("weapons of war") for civilians;

b. Outlawing high-capacity ammunition magazines;

c. Instituting universal background checks, and closing loopholes in background checks for the purchase of all firearms.


We hope you will join us in Holy Week for this important witness of prayer and action in our nation's capital.


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For further information please contact Karin Hamilton, Canon for Mission Communication and Media, The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut,, 860.608.6969.