WASHINGTON – A faith-based advocacy group says it is helping to sponsor a national “gun violence prevention Sabbath” in more than 150 religious congregations across the United States during the weekend of Jan. 19-20.
Participating houses of worship will include Riverside Church in New York, Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, Second Ebenezer Baptist Church in Detroit and Hollywood Adventist Church in Los Angeles, according to the PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign. The group says that Mayors Against Illegal Guns is cosponsoring the services, and that each community’s mayor has been invited.
In a media release, PICO claims more than 100,000 worshippers may attend the services. It says family members will display photos of loved ones lost to gun violence and clergy will call on the faithful to advocate for an actionable plan to prevent gun violence.
The release quotes the Rev. Michael McBride, director of Lifelines to Healing Campaign, as saying the services are “meant to cherish the memory of our lost loved ones and learn what we can collectively do to keep guns off of our streets and our young people out of the graveyard.”
PICO National Network was founded in 1972 by John Baumann, a Jesuit priest, as the Pacific Institute for Community Organization (PICO), headquartered in Oakland, California.