Each week throughout 2017 in the narthex, we kept track of the number of people killed so far in the year. For comparison, we had the number killed in 2016, 746. Do you know how many people were killed in 2017? Was it more or less than in 2016? And how many shot and wounded?
We did this to keep drawing attention to the many people in our city affected by gun violence. In 2017, 624 people were shot and killed. That’s less than in 2016, but that number still represents a lot of children who lost parents, parents who lost children, and the rupturing of thousands of relationships in a dozen neighborhoods. 2,937 were shot and wounded, which translates to a lot of lost months of work and wages, disability payments and shortened lives.
All of this is happening, overwhelmingly, to neighbors of color. Gun violence is a justice issue that needs to stay front and center for us as Christians, even if solutions seem hard to come by. We’ll keep praying as a congregation about this in worship throughout this year. You can do this at home or school or work by bookmarking one of the many sites that track shootings. If you put it on your bookmarks bar, that will remind you to open it occasionally and pray for those who have been shot, or touched by a shooting, during the week.