Responding to Gun Violence

08.13.19 | Advocacy and Action, Gun Violence Prevention | by Erik Alsgaard

    Curated by Erik Alsgaard 

    "Every day, 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured. The effects of gun violence extend far beyond these casualties—gun violence shapes the lives of millions of Americans who witness it, know someone who was shot, or live in fear of the next shooting." -- Everytown For Gun Safety

    United Methodists are not immune to the effects of gun violence. United Methodist churches need to be prepared to respond if the unthinkable happens.

    As United Methodists and as Christians, our first call is to prayer. MARCHA -- Metodistas Representando la Causa de los Hispano Americanos -- released a prayer recently which can be used as other groups plan and take action.

    “For those lost to hate and violence and the communities mourning in Texas and Ohio, Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. For the first responders and caregivers, Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. For the people of the USA, resurrect our instincts to honor our common humanity and our compassion to the suffering of our neighbor, beyond empty words. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. For those in positions of power and influence, grant them the will and courage to protect life over ‘freedom’ to kill. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.”

    Consider using the prayer and the resources below as your congregation worships and takes other actions aimed at preventing gun violence.




    • Book of Resolutions 2016, #3428: “Whether it happen in the towns of northeastern Nigeria, a suburb in the United States, the streets of Australia or an office in France, gun violence has become an all-too-often frightening phenomenon. We need the reality of Micah’s vision (Micah 4:104) more than ever.” Read the rest of the resolution titled Our Call to End Gun Violence.   
    • Courageous Conversation about Gun Violence: This outline is a guide to helping people within the church to bring their different perspectives on gun violence prevention together in helpful conversation.
    • Faith and Facts: Gun violence: What does the Bible say? What does The United Methodist Church say? What do the facts say? This quick-read card provides information that can be helpful in discussions about addressing gun violence in many forms and in many places and encourages other actions to reduce it.
    • Kingdom Dreams Violent Realities Bible Study: A free, downloadable, three-session Bible study on gun violence prevention.
    • Fearless conversations: Gun violence: The West Ohio Conference developed this plan for a small group session that will take about 1.5-2 hours to complete.


    • Help for crime victims: Information from a resource and advocacy organization in the United States for crime victims and those who serve them.




    • Embrace Love (Social media graphics): Denounce violence and racism and embrace love. Download these graphics to use on your Facebook profile or to share on your timeline.
    • Grounded in faith — Resources on mental health and gun violence: This statement and collection of resources was first released by the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC), a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities. The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society is a member of IDAC.
    • Number of Deaths: The Gun Violence Archive website lists every known gun-related death in the United States.

     Last updated Aug. 13, 2019