An early influence for us in the work we do was Rev. James Atwood, a retired Presbyterian pastor. Rev. Atwood, an avid hunter and gun owner, devoted thirty-six years as a Presbyterian pastor to fighting against the easy access to firearms, after a gun ended the life of one of his dear friends. His book, America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, was important to us when we first began this work. Rev. Atwood says that preventing gun violence is a spiritual mandate from God, as ..
- Each of us is created in the image of God.
- Each of us is a child of God
- Each of us is a brother or sister in God’s family.
- Each of us is a neighbor whom we are commanded to love as we love ourselves.
- The New Testament declares that our very bodies are “the temples of the Living God.”
- We cannot love our neighbor, brother/sister, without caring deeply about that which hurts of kills them.
Prayer: Gracious and merciful God. We pray for the wisdom, compassion, and mercy to live our lives in the love and example of Jesus to:
Strive for peace within ourselves and to be peacemakers in our daily life;
Accept suffering in the struggle for justice rather than acting it.
Refuse to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence;
Persevere in nonviolence of tongue and heart;
Live conscientiously and simply so that we do not deprive others of the means to live.
We ask this in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Adopted from Pax Christi, USA, “Renewal of the Vow of Nonviolence”