Live    Worship    Grow    Heal

Media Release: Bishop to March to End Gun Violence

For Immediate Release

Hannah Wilder
+1 619 200  5036

San Diego Bishop Marches to End Gun Violence


SALT LAKE CITY — The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, will walk in a march with the Bishops Against Gun Violence (BAGV) on Sunday, June 28, 7:15 a.m. The march and rally are intended to encourage people of all faiths to work together to end gun violence.  BAGV started when four Episcopal bishops came together with the desire to focus the Episcopal Church’s attention on the issue of gun violence. As BAGV planned the final details of the Utah march and rally, Dylan Roof shot and killed nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.


“We are making a witness to Utah and indeed to the world that as people of faith, we need to claim common ground on gun violence,” said the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, N.J., a founder of BAGV.


“We have not purged the demons of racism and prejudice,” Bishop Mathes of San Diego wrote in a statement sent to clergy and lay leaders on June 19. “And our love affair with violence and guns makes for a maddening and wicked mix.”


The Utah event, Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence, includes a prayerful procession between the Salt Palace Convention Center and Pioneer Park. A worship service will be held at the park, including prayers and testimony. The Rt. Rev. Scott Hayashi, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, and a survivor of gun violence, is among the planned speakers.


Bishop Hayashi was 19 years old and working at a record store in Tacoma, Washington, when he was shot during a robbery of the store. The robbers left with $9 and Bishop Hayashi barely escaped with his life. After multiple surgeries, and much physical therapy, he recovered from the gunshot wounds to his abdomen. Bishop Hayashi commented that “the scourge of racism has been compounded by an epidemic of gun violence.”


Bishop Mathes, a member of BAGV, remarked that nothing will change in this country “until we get rid of the guns and actually pay the price, as a nation, for what we have done to generations of African-Americans from the days of slavery until now.”


The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego joined churches across the nation in the ringing of church bells at noon on Friday to honor the lives of the nine people who died in Charleston and to pray for all victims of gun violence.


Claiming Common Ground is yet another instance of the Episcopal Church tackling difficult social issues head-on, according to Bishop Beckwith. “We’re making a witness and we intend to offer that up in prayer, hope, solidarity and peace,” he said.


The event occurs in the middle of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, which is held every three years and is the bicameral governing body of the Church. Approximately 10,000 will be in attendance. The convention comprises the house of bishops, with upwards of 200 active and retired bishops, and the house of deputies, with clergy and lay deputies elected from the 108 dioceses and three regional areas of the church, at more than 800 members.

Interviews available upon request. Please contact Hannah Wilder.



The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego is comprised of 47 congregations in the San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial Counties and Yuma, Arizona. It is one of 108 dioceses of the international Episcopal Church. Since 1973 it has lived its mission to break down barriers and love fearlessly. More information is available at www.edsd.org.

Category: #Advocacy, #Bishop's Blog, #Communications

Respond to this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Stories

Migration Missive: Dispatches from the Migrant Road
January 24, 2022

Diocesan Migration Missioner Troy Elder writes with updates from his weeklong journey through Guatemala and southern Mexico as a guest of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the Anglican Diocese of Guatemala.   Troy can be reached at telder@edsd.org.  Day 1:  At Long Last, Headed South It was hard to believe this day had finally come.   After nearly two […]

Message from the Public Health Taskforce
January 21, 2022

As the Covid pandemic continues, the members of our diocesan Public Health Task Force continue to meet and discuss ways to keep our communities safe, and pursue our mission in the name of Jesus Christ. We are grateful that our congregations have worked so hard on public health and safety issues for the nearly two […]

All Saints’ Vista Celebrates with Revival
January 14, 2022

All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Vista welcomed Bishop Susan Brown Snook for the first Bishop’s Visitation and Church Revival of the year. Each week Bishop Susan visits a church in the diocese. This year during the Bishop’s visit, each church is celebrating with a revival, filled with liturgical depth, testimony, prayer, and celebration—perfect for welcoming […]

View All News
Receive the latest news.

© Episcopal Diocese of San Diego 2021. All Rights Reserved.