[Washington National Cathedral – Press Release] Washington National Cathedral will convene religious leaders, policy makers, victims of gun violence and people of faith as a leader of the national Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath, March 14–17. The weekend is organized in partnership with Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence.
The program begins Thursday, March 14, with a discussion of effective gun prevention strategies in use across the country. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, D.C. Police Assistant Chief Patrick Burke and emergency room expert Dr. Arthur Kellerman will bring their diverse expertise to the discussion moderated by the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
The weekend culminates on Sunday morning at a worship service at which the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, will preach. Panel discussions and an interfaith service on Saturday featuring faith leaders, members of Congress and gun violence prevention advocates will highlight how faith-based efforts can inspire changes in public policy. To support the weekend’s nationwide Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath, the Cathedral and its partners will offer spiritual and educational resources for use by hundreds of houses of worship across the country.
“This is a critical moment in the life of our nation. The faith community has seen the tragic results of inaction, and we cannot stand by any longer,” said Dean Hall. “No one should be at risk from gun violence in a schoolroom, in the workplace, on our city streets, at a shopping mall, a movie theater—or anywhere else. This weekend of programs offers time to reflect, unite and act to curb the epidemic of gun violence in our midst.”
Working in partnership with Bishop Budde, Hall has been a national voice for action since the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn. Hall has spoken regularly on the topic of gun violence from the pulpit while also working with policy makers, community leaders and other faith leaders to find solutions and maintain momentum. Hall was the only faith leader invited to participate in a press conference with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) unveiling a new proposed federal ban on assault weapons.
Hall went on to say, “On this Sabbath weekend, we will gather with community leaders, lawmakers, advocates, and survivors to pray, remember and ready ourselves to act. This will be the cross lobby at work.”
Details on specific panels and participants will be announced in the coming weeks.