On the evening of June 14th 2018, the Faith & Action event took place on the backfield behind St. Scholastica Monastery. This multi-denominational show of faith and support for the Rogers Park community, and for the victims of gun violence within the 24th district during 2017 began with Prayer from the Sergeant, then the commander spoke, Sister Benita Coffey, OSB, our social justice coordinator also spoke as well as another Bishop from a local church spoke at the event. Finally, the Sergeant read the names of the 37 people injured by gun violence in 2017 and we released balloons.
Here are excerpts from the "God Not Guns" prayers, by Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence, that Sargeant read to all present at the Faith & Action event.
God of life, Every act of violence in our world, in our communities, between myself and others, destroys a part of your creation. Stir in my heart a renewed sense of reverence for all life. Give me the vision to recognize your spirit in every human being, however they behave towards me. Make possible the impossible by cultivating in me the fertile seed of healing love. May I play my part in breaking the cycle of violence by realizing that peace begins with me. (St. Ethelburg’s Center for Reconciliation and Peace, 2005)
O God of all people, We know that you are as near as our next breath wherever we go, you are already there. Thank you for creating us in your image, and claiming us as your children. O Lord, we confess that we have forgotten who we are: that each of us belongs to you. We confess that we have forsaken your peaceable kingdom, and allowed gun violence to shatter our communities. Forgive us O God. Remind us that your love is more powerful than any gun and that your spirit will sustain us as nothing else can. Let us desire, as you desire, forgiveness rather than revenge, reconciliation rather than retribution. Give us the courage to live not by the gun but by your spirit. Open our hearts to you so that we also may open them to each other. Guide us on the path of peace. In the name of all who love you, we pray. Amen. (Contributed by Rev. Rachel R. Smith)
"God Not Guns" prayers Copyright 2007 by Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence.