As followers of Jesus in the Anabaptist faith tradition, we are called to seek peace and witness against all forms of violence. 

Approximately 118 people per day die by gun violence in the U.S. Gun violence is a complex issue that intersects with poverty, racism, discrimination, criminal justice, education and the environment. 

This “Learn, Pray, Join: End Gun Violence” initiative calls us to understand this crisis through the lens of our faith and seek ways to bring God’s hope and healing to our hurting communities, through education, disarming practices, advocacy and standing as a visible witness for peace.  

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”  2 Corinthians 5:20 

Read our latest blogs on ending gun violence:

A few facts: 

  • More than half of all deaths by firearms in the U.S. are suicides 
  • Children and teens are more likely to die from gun violence than from any other cause.  
  • Black Americans are twice as likely to die from gun violence than white Americans.  
  • LGBTQ+ people are more than twice as likely to be a victim of gun violence than their cisgender (those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth) and straight peers. 
  • Firearm homicides are correlated to economic hardship. 
  • Higher temperatures have been linked to a higher risk of gun violence in 100 of the country’s most populated cities. 

News stories:

  • MC USA | Pennsylvania Mennonites protest gun violence | Read it here.   
  • Rocky Mountain PBS | A military police officer-turned-pacifist makes garden tools from guns (Shared with permission) | View it here 
  • Philanthropy News Digest | Funders address gun violence as public health social justice issue by Kyoko Uchida (Shared with permission) | Read it here 

Subscribe to PeaceMail, which will feature stories, blogs and events about ending gun violence in October and November 2023.   

Congregational resources 

  • “A Loaded Conversation: An Invitation to Talk About Guns” is a resource created by Mennonite Central Committee to help congregations address the topic of guns. 
  • “Collateral Damage” by James Atwood (Published by Herald Press/MennoMedia) : Gun violence has been called the theological emergency of our time. The church has a moral and spiritual obligation to side with life against death. Will we rise to the occasion? Order here using the code LEARN to receive a 40% discount off “Collateral Damage” from October 1 through November 15. A free companion study guide is available here.
  • “Fear Not: Creating a Plan to Respond to Active Violence” is an adult Sunday School curriculum, created by Mennonite Central Committee and RAWtools. It walks congregations through a theological study, in 12 sessions, surveying historical experiences and theological motivations for nonviolent responses to violence. The final two sessions assist the class in creating a plan that makes sense in their own community’s context.    
  • “Guns in Churches: Addressing Church Security Needs” was created by Mennonite Mutual Insurance Company, in 2017, to assist ministry leaders in better understanding issues of weapons, for church security.  
  • Suicide resources for congregations by Anabaptist Disabilities Network. 
  • “Preventing Gun Violence” is a guide developed by Mennonite Central Committee to help equip individuals, small groups
    and churches to advocate for the prevention of gun violence.
  • MennoMedia ~ing podcast, episode 16: “Forging” with Shane Claiborne and Mike Martin of RAWtools. Listen here 
  • Mennonite Mission Network “Stir-Up Peace” video series looks at how nonviolent direct action creates change. View it here 

Congregational resources for children: 

Recommended children’s story books: 

God, our Prince of Peace, we come to seek your everlasting peace in our world of unending violence. 

As we witness our families, cities, countries and our world torn apart by gun violence, do not allow us to become numb to its ubiquity; keep us vigilant. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

In the face of gridlocked legislatures, may we be bastions of hope and pursuers of justice, who know that another way is possible. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

We seek your intervention among those in power, who have the chance and opportunity to make lasting change; convict the hearts of the apathetic and give boldness to the convicted. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

Our world, especially in the United States, is addicted to weapons of death; lead us on a path to recovery. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

The gun violence pits us against one another; in a world where we must be united against evil, heal our divisions.  

Lord, hear our prayer. 

Mass incarceration, the opioid epidemic, systemic racism and punitive laws increase the violence around us; stretch our capacity to address all of what contributes to this epidemic. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

Our elected officials, with their support of endless war and police brutality, promote the violence in our society, and they limit our prophetic imagination. Lead us to resist their way of violence and expand our minds beyond these worldly constraints. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

Our police continue to shoot and kill Black and Brown people around us, give us the integrity to name their gun violence, alongside the gun violence that happens in our cities’ streets.  

Lord, hear our prayer. 

Gun laws make access to guns easy across the country, and gun violence is in every demographic; we repent of when we reduce this issue to urban areas. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

Give us compassion, though, as we acknowledge the disproportionate effect gun violence has on minority communities, both by civilians and by police.  

Lord, hear our prayer.  

For those of us who have lost dear ones to gun violence, give us comfort, be with us in our grief and suffer alongside of us. Make your presence known. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

The plague that surrounds us can lead us to despair and cynicism. Give us the Holy Spirit, so that we can be comforted. Give us Jesus, so that we can have courage. Give us our Heavenly Parent, so that we may have hope. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

Show us a new way, a path to a new world. We pray that your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. 



By Jonny Rashid, pastor of West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship. 

Learn how to disable guns legally and safely, and help others do so, by becoming part of the Disarming Network in partnership with RAWtools 

Join the interdenominational Guns to Garden network, and participate in an Action Circle cohort. Action Circles prepare people and congregations to host their first Guns to Gardens event.

Host a book study, using “Beating Guns,” co-authored by Mike Martin and Shane Claiborne of RAWtools, or another relevant book.  Mike or Shane will happily join your group by Zoom for a session! Find contact information for RAWtools here.  

Invite RAWtools to lead a program at your MC USA-affiliated high school or college. They can provide a hands-on educational experience in which students create transformational art using repurposed metal pieces. Contact RAWtools here 

Interrupt violence. Learn about bystander intervention by downloading the “Bystander Intervention” curriculum and by sharing “Bystander Intervention” tip cards. These resources are available from Mennonite Mission Network here.   

Plan a Gun Violence Awareness Day: Heeding God’s Call, a faith-based, grassroots organization, was founded in 2008, when historic peace churches came together in the Philadelphia area to persuade local gun shops to adopt a voluntary code of conduct to prevent straw purchases of guns. They continue to encourage communities to plan Gun Violence Awareness Days within local communities.  

Reach out to school officials to see how you can get involved in local initiatives that protect children. Connect with Sandy Hook Promise and Moms Demand Action for ideas and resources. 

Find and support organizations that are working against violence and its root causes.  

Ask your elected officials to support common-sense gun legislation. Find your local, state and federal legislators here. 

Ways to support MC USA’s Peace & Justice work 

  • The MC USA Justice Fund enables individuals and congregations to support MC USA churches that are actively involved in dismantling racism, addressing police brutality, reimagining policing in our society or combating poverty. Please donate here. 
  • The Church Peace Tax Fund supports the MC USA Bring the Peace award program, provides funding for educational programs that address militarism and promote peace, and provides support for the Peaceful Options for Training and Careers (POTC). Please donate here.