ANNOUNCEMENT: Religious Leaders to Call for End to Gun Violence at Washington National Cathedral
On Friday, December 21, at 9 a.m., interfaith religious leaders brought together by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Washington National Cathedral will gather to honor the lives of those lost one week ago in Newtown, Conn., by insisting that Congress and the President continue to act swiftly to end the national epidemic of gun violence.
The group of major national religious leaders includes: the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral; Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington; Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America; the Rev. Michael Livingston, past president of the National Council of Churches; Bishop Peter Weaver, executive secretary of the United Methodist Council of Bishops; Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly; the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention; and the Rev. Richard Cizik, president of New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.
The interfaith group of religious leaders will gather at Washington National Cathedral ahead of the tolling of the Cathedral’s Bourdon Bell (funeral bell), calling upon churches and houses of worship around the country to ring bells at 9:30 a.m. EST in honor of each life that was taken in last week’s tragedy.
“As people of faith, we have the moral obligation to stand for and with the victims of gun violence and to work to end it,” said the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral. “Let us pray not only for the victims and those affected by the tragedy but also for ourselves, that we may have courage to act, so that the murderous violence done on Friday may never be repeated.”
“People of faith and good will are good at showing up with flowers, platters of food, and candles to light a dark sky, and we need all those things to remind us of the basic goodness of the world,” said the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. “But now is also a time for us to show up in ways that will actually prevent such deaths in the future.”
“We must come together as people of faith, representing the range of religious traditions throughout our country, in a collective call to action to end this crisis,” said Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. “The time to end senseless gun violence is now, and as religious leaders, the responsibility to provide moral leadership is ours.”
Interview opportunities with religious leaders in attendance will be made available. The event is open to media, and coverage is welcome. Friday, December 21, 2012, at 9 a.m. EST at The Bishop’s Garden, Washington National Cathedral