A few days ago, I received letter from our bishop, Shannon Johnston, inviting all of us to join him and other Episcopal bishops in Washington D.C. on Monday of Holy Week, where they will lead a “Stations of the Cross” procession from the White House to Capitol Hill. During the walk, we are being asked to pray especially for victims of gun violence in our nation.
The House of Bishops recently gathered on retreat at Kanuga, N.C., for eight days on the topic of violence and loss. The bishops shared their personal experiences of losing loved-ones to violence. One bishop told how, in his former life as a police officer, he shot and killed a man. Bishop Johnston said he was “deeply moved” by these testimonies, and so he wants to lead this procession on Monday of Holy Week.
The procession will begin at 10:30 am in Lafayette Park. St. John’s Episcopal Church, across the street, will provide light refreshments at 9:45 am. If you can come, please notify Bishop Johnston’s assistant, Amy Williams, by Friday at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you are able to come, please keep the victims of violence in your prayers in Holy Week as we remember how Jesus died violently on the Cross, and how he overcame death to show us a new way to live.
Below is the communication from Bishop Johnston:
Episcopal Bishops from Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and Newark invite everyone in their dioceses to Washington to pray for the victims of gun violence across our country in a public stations of the cross. We invite everyone to this public liturgy, to pray and offer public witness.
We'll begin at 10:30am on March 25th in the park across from St. John's Lafayette Square and make our way down National Mall, praying as we go. The Stations liturgy will conclude at the Capitol, and those who wish to meet with political leaders to ask for specific legislative action will proceed to the Rotunda. At approximately 2 p.m. we will assemble in the Library of Congress for remarks from church and government leaders in support of gun reform and legislative actions pending in Congress.
I will be leading those clergy and lay persons from the Diocese of Virginia who wish to attend this important and poignant event. I know this is quite short notice, but I only learned of all of the details at the recent House of Bishops meeting at Kanuga and was deeply moved by this vision to pray for the victims of gun violence and for meaningful legislation that will help to end such tragedies in our country. Please do get the word out to all of your clergy encouraging them to attend and to invite members of their congregations as well. St. John’s Lafayette Square will be providing coffee, light refreshments and restrooms before the walk beginning at 9:45am.
An important detail: Please emphasize that those who will be attending should send an email to my assistant, Amy Williams, at email@example.com before noon on Friday March 22nd so that she can give a headcount to St. John’s Lafayette Square so they can plan accordingly for hospitality. I hope to see you there at 10:30am on March 25th.