RESOLVED, That this 139th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark recognize that violence in all of its forms, including the pandemic of gun violence in our communities nationwide is incongruous with the Christian values of peace, nonviolence and God’s commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves; and, that the violence committed in our country’s schools, public meeting spaces and homes diminishes the dignity of the victims and the perpetrators; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Diocese of Newark pray about and take action to overcome a culture of violence and commit to learning about the causes of violence; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the 139th Annual Convention direct the Justice Board to oversee this effort and provide a report to the 140th Convention, with recommendations for how the diocese, congregations and individuals can create or support efforts to address mental illness and other causes of gun violence and its effects.
A faithful response to the Gospel requires us to examine the ways that the church can better understand the issues that contribute to violence, such as the glorification of violence in our culture, the lack of appropriate services for persons with mental illnesses, and the wealth disparity in our communities.
The violence committed in our country’s schools, public meeting spaces and homes diminishes the dignity of the victims and the perpetrators and causes severe psychological, emotional and physical harm to many. The inadequate treatment of people with mental illnesses can result in people with disorders and illnesses acting in ways that harm themselves and others. We recognize that people, who serve as caregivers for people with mental illnesses can suffer themselves or fail to support the recovery of people with mental illnesses if they are inadequately prepared, isolated and lack resources. Additionally, first responders often suffer physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual injuries when addressing violent situations and their aftermath. Our Christian teachings compel us to care for those in need and pray for those who do us harm.
Reason for late submission: The December 14th school shooting in Newtown, CT, prompted this resolution which occurred after the deadline for resolutions.