Service of Remembrance for Victims of Gun Violence
Saturday, September 4, 2021, 6:00 PM
On Saturday, September 4, at 6 p.m., the Cathedral will host an outdoor service of remembrance in Nancy’s Garden for the victims of gun violence.The service is coordinated by retired Episcopal Bishop of Newark and co-founder of “Bishops Against Gun Violence” Mark Beckwith along with “Red Letter Christians” co-founder Shane Claiborne.As part of the service of remembrance, blacksmith Mike Martin will use a miniature forge to transform a firearm into a farming implement, embodying literally the words of the Prophet Isaiah to “turn swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4).Shaine Claiborne and Mike Martin have crisscrossed the country with Mike’s forge leading such services and in 2019 published the book Beating Guns: Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence.
The service of remembrance is part of a series of weekend events coordinated by Bishop Beckwith and other faith leaders, culminating in a Sunday morning service of hope at Pleasant Hills Baptist Church.About the service of remembrance on the Cathedral campus, Bishop Beckwith said, “I want to express my gratitude to Dean Barkley Thompson and Canon to the Ordinary Christine Faulstich from the Diocese of Texas for their gracious hospitality and for providing introductions to other Episcopalians and other religious leaders in the Houston area.Our purpose is twofold:to build bridges across the deepening divide around the issue of guns, and to offer a witness of hope and peace.”
Gun violence is endemic in American society, with 40,000 people dying from gunshots each year.Of these, 24,000 are death by suicide utilizing a gun, and 14,000 are homicides.
Cathedral parishioners are invited to attend the outdoor service on September 4.