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Marching in the Busy Downtown Streets of Baltimore

On the first day of the convention, hundreds of deputies marched to the site of a shooting that took place the previous day. We prayed a vigil in response to gun violence provided by Bishops United Against Gun Violence. We also prayed in a call-and-response fashion, sang songs about peace, and heard speakers call on our elected officials to act to end gun violence. 

As we marched through the busy tourist area, I noted that this was holy work. Yes, coming together on Sundays to worship God in a house of prayer is holy. But so is marching in the busy downtown streets of Baltimore — or wherever gun violence takes place — to speak words of healing, to inspire hearts to make change, and to sing a new reality into being.

Thoughts and prayers for victims of gun violence are not enough. In fact, I would say they are the opposite of action, the wolves in sheep’s clothing. We need to pray with our votes. Pray with our calls to our elected representatives. Pray with our endorsement of politicians who will finally legislate sensible gun control measures. 

A whole lot more needs to happen, and no one person can make this change on their own. That is why we are a body of Christ, moving as one through the streets of Baltimore and San Diego and wherever the Spirit calls us to bring about true and lasting peace and freedom. 

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry gave an inspiring dismissal to the march, saying, “Frederick Douglass prayed to God and then one day while he was praying to God, something said to him, ‘Don’t just pray on your knees. Do that, but pray on your feet.’ Isaiah said it this way: ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint!’ It’s a long walk to freedom. It’s a long walk to justice. It’s a long walk to the dream of God. But may we have the strength to walk, to pray on our knees, and to pray with our feet. To pray until no child of God, no one made in God’s image, will ever be sacrificed. Pray that violence will leave this land and this earth. Pray that one day every man, woman, and child, may sit under their own vine and fig tree and we’ll learn how to lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside, and we’ll study war no more. Violence – no more! Hatred – no more! Bigotry – no more! Walk together, children! And don’t you get weary! There’s always a great camp meeting at the promised land. So keep walking. Keep walking! And don’t you give up! Until justice rolls down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook. So go forth into the world. Keep walking. Walk tall. Or don’t walk at all! That’s not the Bible. That’s Bruce Springsteen. But walk tall and hold your head up high and follow in the footsteps of the prince of peace. Live by the way of Love until love is the only law by which we live. Be strong. Be of good courage. Hold fast to that which is good. Render evil to no one. Love the Lord your God. Love your neighbor even if you don’t like them. Love your neighbor. And Love yourself. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be on you and remain with you in this world in which we live and in this city where we stand this day and forever more, and the people of God said Amen. Amen! Amen!”

 

Gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside

Down by the riverside

Down by the riverside

Gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside and study war no more.

I ain’t gonna study war no more

I ain’t gonna study war no more

I ain’t gonna study war no more


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Category: #Communications

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One reply to “Marching in the Busy Downtown Streets of Baltimore

  1. Nancy Burnett | on July 20, 2022

    Wonderful report Hannah. Thank you. I felt like I was there with you. So much work to do! Blessings on this work. n+

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