January 22, 2013

This Sunday we will be joining with congregations throughout the United States in a “Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath.” Together we promise to pray for an end to the gun violence epidemic that grips our nation and to work for a reduction in gun violence by calling for reasonable federal regulations on the purchase, sale and ownership of guns and ammunition.

The Baptist Peace Fellowship provides the the following facts about the prevalence of guns and gun violence in the Unites States.

Gun Ownership

•  The US has an estimated 283 million guns in civilian hands
•  Each year about 4.5 million ? rearms, including approximately 2 million handguns, are sold in the US
•  An estimated 2 million second hand ? rearms are sold each year
•  The percentage of American households with a gun has been steadily declining (1977=54% 2009=33%)
•  The average number of guns per owner has increased from 4.1 in 1994 to 6.9 in 2004.

Injury Prevention (2007); ATF (2000); National Opinion Research Center
(2008); Pew Research Center (2009)

Gun Deaths

•  More than 30,000 people are killed by ?rearms each year in the US
•  More than 30 people are shot and murdered each day
•     1/2 of them are between the ages of 18 and 35
•     1/3 of them are under the age of 20
•  Homicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 15-24 yearolds

Gun Homicides (average annually)

•  Less than 50: Japan
•  Less than 150:  Germany, Italy, France
•  Less than 200:  Canada
•  More than 10,000: USA

IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms of the United Nations)

Injuries and Deaths from Guns
Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, one is used:

•  11 times for a completed or attempted suicide
•  7 times in a criminal assault or homicide
•  4 times in an unintentional shooting death or injury

Journal of Trauma, injury, Infection and Critical Care (1998)

We need a federal ban on the sale of automatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips and a federal law mandating background checks for all gun buyers.

OCO and PICO are urging members of their affiliated congregations to:

Call our elected leaders: Call the White House: 202-456-1111 and the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Join our text-messaging campaign: Text the keyword COMMONSENSE to 698-66 to get text alerts

As part of worship on Sunday we will offer this prayer:

(Contributed by Rev. Rachel R. Smith)
O God of all people,
We know that you are as near as our next breath
wherever we go, you are already there.
Thank you for creating us in your image,
and claiming us as your children.
O Lord, we confess that we have forgotten who we are;
that each of us belongs to you.
We confess that we have forsaken your peaceable kingdom,
and allowed gun violence to shatter our communities.
Forgive us O God.
Remind us that your love is more powerful than any gun
and that your spirit will sustain us as nothing else can.
Let us desire, as you desire, forgiveness rather than revenge,
reconciliation rather than retribution.
Give us the courage to live not by the gun but by your spirit.
Open our hearts to you so that we also may open them to each other.
Guide us on the path of peace.
In the name of all who love you, we pray.  Amen

Prayers of the Congregation

  • Leona Sims – Summit Hospital
  • Harrison Williams – Vasona Creek Health, Facility, Los Gatos
  • Jesus Portillo
  • Barbara Bowman
  • Sylvia Lee
  • Darnell and Larry Sims on the death of two co-workers
  • The peace of Oakland
  • The peace of Myanmar (Burma)
  • Sandra Dunn for her father
  • Thanksgiving with Carol and Steve Leichter on the birth of a their grandson, Jacob
  • Ted and Doris Evans for their daughter
  • Mary Karne for her daughter
  • Phil and Gloria Meads for Phil (son), Cynthia, Bob and Rhonda
  • LeAnn Flesher for her teaching assistant
  • Kay Baxter for her family
  • Declan and Sheila Brown for their nephew
  • Doris and Joe Pummell for the health of their pastor
  • David Anderson for his family
  • Mary Osajindu for her sister
  • Our college students as they head back to school
  • Sybil Alexander

Announcements

The Annual Meetings of the Congregation and the LABC Foundation will follow worship on Sunday.

LABC Reads meets this Saturday at 9:00 in the Library. We will be discussing “Tinkers” by Paul Harding.