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Statement of the Association of Clergy, Holliston, Massachusetts On the National School Walkout of March 14, 2018

by Press Release
March 13, 2018

On March 14, at 10:00 am, students from Holliston Middle and High Schools will be joining with students from schools across the country in a 17-minute walk-out, which is to honor the 17 students who lost their lives in a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14. The stated goal, according to EMPOWER, the organization coordinating walk-outs across the country is, “to protest Congress' inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods,"

We are clergy, representing different congregations, denominations, and faiths in Holliston; formally support this action by our town’s young people, and we wish to provide loving spiritual support, and our backing behind the issues they are raising. Additionally, we recognize and affirm that the mantle of leadership in these efforts has been taken-up by these students, and, moved by their compassion and courage, we seek to follow their lead.

In taking this position, we acknowledge that there are great differences in how people view gunownership, and in how the 2nd amendment is interpreted. Still, we make this statement in a spirit of unity, with the understanding that we live in a country governed by the rule of law which at its best, is constructed and carried out according to the will of the people of this country. We encourage all to join in civil conversation on matters concerning the safety of our children and communities, generating solutions and working together to bring them to fruition. Our respective faith practices call us to prayerfully engage with civility and love for each other.

Furthermore, as faith leaders in Holliston, we encourage common-sense gun measures as one part of a comprehensive approach to the reduction of violence in our communities. We call for an honest and practical dialogue around a series of concrete proposals, not partisanship and overheated rhetoric. Issues that enjoy broad support and where action could take place soon are; a more appropriate minimum age for gun ownership, requiring universal background checks, and banning bump stocks.

We also take this position of support acknowledging that it is a part of our calling to give voice to those things which are bestowed to us from God, and to name those things which are not. Truly, God has given us the inalienable right to a dignified existence and the righteous responsibility to ensure this in others through our love and respect. When parents mourn over murdered children, we mourn with them. When suffering communities cry out, God calls us to heed their tears and work together to make a safer world. Indeed, we are each other’s keepers. May God entrust us with wisdom and courage to do the right thing.

Rev. Bonnie Steinroader – First Congregational Church
Rev. Mark Peterson – Christ the King Lutheran Church
Rabbi Jennifer Rudin – Simcha Services
Fr. Carl Chudy – Our Lady of Fatima Shrine

 

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Comments (1)

I will be praying at that time for the success of there efforts. Jean Morrissey

- Jean Morrissey | 3/13/18 11:58 AM

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