Published : Monday, December 14, 2015 | 6:11 AM
As a late afternoon drizzle turned in a steady rain, members of Pasadena’s All Saints Episcopal Church crowded the church’s chapel Sunday evening for a “Gun Violence Prevention Community Vigil.” It was the third such vigil, originally meant to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting of 2012.
“Tonight’s event has a new significance in light of recent events,” said Pastor Susan Russell before the vigil, referring to recent shooting attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
“We want to turn our feelings in to real action,” she continued, saying the church’s Task Force on Gun Violence would work for more strenuous background checks on gun purchasers and would lobby congress to “loosen the stranglehold the NRA has on this country.
“This is an example of true Christian values,” she added. “We want to be a light in the darkness and stop the scapegoating go American Muslims.”
Cantor Ruth Berman Harris of Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center opened the emotional evening with a performance “Wind Beneath my Wings.”
Pastor Kerwin Manning of Pasadena Church reminded the crowd that there have been 90,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. since Sandy Hook. He solemnly detailed just a few of the nation’s gun incidents over the last three years, where guns turned angry feelings into bloody violence.
“How do we remove the intent to kill?” asked Reverend Hannah Petrie of the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church. She also reminded the gathering that “recent police shootings of civilians are only the tip of the iceberg. We must also work to stop black on black violence, and brown on brown violence.”
‘We must re-commit to stop gun violence today, with fierce vigilance,” said All Saints Church Pastor Zelda Kennedy.