A Church of the Brethren Gun Violence Prevention Action Team formed in 2023 to galvanize the Church of the Brethren to be faithful as an effective force for reducing gun violence in our neighborhoods and wherever it occurs.
- Convene conversations across the denomination, to share our lived experiences with guns and gun violence, clarify our convictions as Christians and Brethren, and identify strategies for action.
- Build a network of CoB gun violence prevention advocates who provide mutual support, inspiration, and skill-sharing.
- Catalyze congregations to take collective action as Christians, witnessing to God’s shalom/God’s purpose for humanity.
- Activate agencies and institutions of the Church of the Brethren to bring their own resources and expertise to this effort
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Why Brethren and Gun Violence Prevention?
The Annual Conference statement in 1978 on “Violence and the Use of Firearms” (link) is evidence that the issue of gun violence has long been a concern of the Church of the Brethren. Unfortunately, gun violence has become a more frequent occurrence in the United States with even more deadly consequences now than forty-five years ago. Whether it’s a mass shooting, homicide, suicide, or an accidental shooting, gun violence results in long-lasting trauma and grief. What does the Church of the Brethren have to say in response to all of this? What are specific actions that the Church of the Brethren can take toward the goal of ending gun violence and combating the glorification of guns in our culture?
These questions motivate this national group of Brethren to engage the denomination in search of concerted action. The team longs to hear the denomination’s voice speaking clearly against gun violence, the too-easy access to guns, and the glorification of guns in our culture. They hope to activate local advocates and denominational voices to work towards ending gun violence.