Covenant of Commitment
Covenant of Commitment to Act to End Gun Violence
(template for adaptation by Partner Faith Communities)
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life, so that you and you descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him and holding fast to him.
~ Deuteronomy 30:19
Through these words, we are called to order our communities and human relationships to reflect God’s justice and the promise of Shalom. We are deeply committed to upholding the value of human life and opposing those forces which threaten it. The overwhelming presence of guns in our national consciousness cannot be separated from the communal despair we feel as we witness our self-destruction. It is time to address this helplessness with action to reverse the unrestricted proliferation of guns in our communities.
The scandalous level of firearms violence in the United States screams to heaven for healing. The groans of the victims demand a response from the faith community – a response rooted in the confidence of the prophetic vision that our communities will one day be restored to safety.
Because we are losing eight children a day to gun-related deaths;
Because too many children, families and communities are thrown into desperate grief and trauma;
Because too many congregations have buried children and sought to bring the comfort of God’s peace to families wracked by this epidemic of violence;
Because we cannot do this work alone…
We join in covenant with other communities of faith to raise awareness of gun violence as a spiritual and moral crisis. We call on every congregation, synagogue, mosque, and gathering of people of faith to work toward a peaceable society where all children have the opportunity to grow and prosper, and where everyone can live without fear of being cut down by firearm violence.
We commit ourselves to:
- Educate our congregation about gun violence prevention;
- Work with local gun shops to adopt a “Code of Conduct” to eliminate legal purchases of guns for illegal resale (straw purchases).
- Partner with other faith communities across geographic, religious and racial lines to develop programs, promote awareness and develop community and legislative strategies; and
- Actively support and collaborate with local gun violence prevention organizations and efforts in our local communities.
As people of faith, we embrace Dr. Martin Luther King’s hope for peace and safety in our communities. We resist apathy to this epidemic of violence, because fear, closed doors, and separation will not end it. We unite to bring God’s vision of a peaceable kingdom.