Gun Violence Vigil

September 03, 2019
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church joins with other congregations in the Carondolet neighborhood of St. Louis to hold a vigil to mourn the deaths of our children and neighbors to gun violence:

Tuesday, Sept. 10
6 p.m.
Ivory Theater Triangle Park (Fanetti Plaza)
Rain or Shine

"I decided to hold this vigil after being invited to share leadership in a Mother's March first organized in 2015 after the death of Mike Brown. That March will occur on Sept. 14, Noon to 2 p.m. at Fairgrounds Park," said the Rev. Rebecca Ragland, St. Paul's rector. "As part of our planning, we were all encouraged to organize vigils in our own neighborhoods - especially where children had been killed. Carondelet has seen far too many of those shooting deaths this year."

Ragland said gun violence has claimed the lives of three neighborhood children this year: 15-year old Sentenio Cox, 3-year old Kennedi Powell, and 17-year old DeVaun Winters. 

"Our scriptures remind us time and again that, regardless of how undeserving we are, God loves us and cares about our well being. Why is it we have such a hard time doing that for each other?" Ragland wonders.

"Bringing a community together to grieve is a powerful way to show that each life matters to the other.  That without you, I cannot be me, and we cannot be we.  Maybe when we rebuild some of the broken connections between each other, we'll have a chance to begin to restore our neighborhoods and have less blood in our streets."

Ragland says she hope many community members will attend the vigil. She expects the local city alderperson and state representative to attend. 

"I pray that this vigil will be the beginning of a strengthening of the ties between the churches in our area - especially across differences.  I also pray that our tears and presence will strengthen the will of elected officials to take a stand for common sense gun laws, and legislation related to gun violence prevention.  Please join us."

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