St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in the Bronx, New York City, is a center or work against gun violence. Episcopal Life reports on a Mother’s Day rally led by Gloria Cruz of St. Ann’s and supported by her rector, the Rev. Martha Overall and Bishop Mark Sisk of New York.
Chanting “Save our children; No more guns,” hundreds marched on the eve of Mother’s Day in the Bronx, New York to honor the victims and families of gun violence and bring about awareness for change.
“It is true that ‘it takes a village’,” said Gloria Cruz, founder and organizer of the annual ‘Walk Against Gun Violence.’ “In order to change your community, you have to be active in it.”
For the third consecutive year, Cruz gathered family members, the community, fellow advocates and elected officials in the Bronx, at the playground where the life her 10-year-old niece Naiesha Pearson was abruptly ended by a bullet at a Labor Day picnic in 2005.
Cruz, a member of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in the Bronx, said the senseless event compelled her to do something.
The featured speaker at the rally was the Rev. Canon Petero Sabune spoke out for education as an antidote to violence.
Noting that 40 percent of the inmates at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, in Ossining, New York cannot read or write, and that 75 percent do not have a high school diploma, the Rev. Canon Petero Sabune, protestant chaplain at Sing Sing, said that the “antidote to violence is education.”
“The reality of all of this is that we either get them on this end and prevent them from committing a crime, or get them on the other end in prison,” he stated.
Sabune, the keynote speaker at the rally, said several members of his family “have died due to some form of violence.”
While serving as dean of St. Philip’s Cathedral in Newark, New Jersey, Sabune said he gained further insight into violence which allowed him to organize families and local faith communities to respond when an 8-year-old boy named Terrell James was killed in a drive-by shooting.
“Today’s gathering is important because I believe every diocese, bishop, and parish across the country needs to declare peace on this issue,” he said. “The Episcopal Church has had a clear unequivocal message against gun violence.”
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