5th Annual National Vigil To Honor Victims of Gun Violence
Coalition Against Gun Violence & Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara HOST AN INTERFAITH VIGIL • THURS DEC. 14th • 5:30-6:30 pm
Unitarian Society Sanctuary, 1535 Santa Barbara Street
December 14, 2017 marks the 5th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shootings. Since that tragic day in Newtown, half a million Americans have been killed or injured by guns. This year, 38,000 lives have been lost to gun violence. The Santa Barbara community is joining with the Newtown Alliance in a national vigil to remember and honor the lives lost to the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in America, and specifically to honor the victims and families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Goleta Post Office, Isla Vista, the Han Family, and the 208 victims lost in mass killings this year including the latest 58 in Las Vegas and 26 in Sutherland Springs.
Multiple events will take place across America during December 6th thru 17th, coinciding with a vigil service of mourning and remembrance at Saint Marks Episcopal Church, Wash. DC. Wednesday, December 6th, coordinated by the Newtown Foundation in partnership with Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, and multiple gun violence organizations across the nation.
The Coalition Against Gun Violence, Rev. Julia Hamilton and the Unitarian Society are hosting an Interfaith Vigil including Santa Barbara faith leaders of multiple traditions in the sanctuary to honor victims and families of gun violence. Clergy from seven diverse faiths will say prayers in their tradition. Photos and music will embellish the ceremony. A BELL will be tolled as every loss is remembered. The focus is a re-dedication and a renewed call to action to reduce violence in this season during which we often speak about peace. Together, each in our individual lives, we will dedicate ourselves to holding peace in our hearts, and extending outward our spirituality with thought and action. Both a Santa Barbara City Proclamation and a County Resolution dedicated to this Vigil will be read and on view. Write-In postcards – “#HonorWithAction” – will be available for attendees to urge Congress to support gun violence prevention legislation.
All those gathered will be invited to participate in the Coalition Against Gun Violence’s traditional Bell Ceremony “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Any member of the audience who has lost a family member or a friend to gun violence is welcomed and encouraged to come up, say the name of their loved one and toll the bell as we remember all victims of gun violence in respectful silence.
Members of the Santa Barbara faith community will also be memorializing this event in their various congregations during this week. Hundreds of communities across America will participate to shed a light on the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our communities as we are all affected by gun violence.