Home Church community The Recorder – The bells are ringing at Greenfield Church to end the ‘epidemic’ of gun violence

The Recorder – The bells are ringing at Greenfield Church to end the ‘epidemic’ of gun violence

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Published: 07/31/2022 23:53:12

Modified: 07/31/2022 23:50:02

GREENFIELD – A solemn tinkling of church bells filled a moment of silence among worshipers at the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew on Sunday morning, calling for unity and prayer amid the tragedies of gun violence underway in the country.

Since the spring, the church has started worship on the last Sunday of every month with a bell ringing at 10 a.m. public health crisis of gun violence. Along with the ringing of the bells and a minute of silence, the clergy recites aloud the number of people who have died as a result of gun violence during the month.

“According to the Gun Violence Archive, in the month of July, 1,110 lives were lost due to gun violence in the United States,” Rev. Molly Scherm directed Sunday to the pews.

Scherm recalled that the idea of ​​ringing the bells was conceptualized “after one of the major mass shootings”. She met with co-directors Ella Ingraham and Virginia Crowl to discuss a way for the church to combat the “epidemic” of gun violence.

“One of them remarked that gun violence weighs so heavily on all of us,” Scherm said. “She wished we could do more because we have to grieve.”

According to the Gun Violence Archive, as of Sunday, 25,779 gun deaths have occurred in the United States in 2022. Locally, Greenfield has seen three shootings since June 10, although no one has been killed. Aside from the recent frequency of incidents in the city, the church’s effort also “keeps the epidemic of gun violence before us and gives us the opportunity to share our grief,” Scherm said.

“To me, the serves are so beautiful,” Ingraham commented. “The cool thing about this church is that it’s a community.”

Ingraham said having a community bound together under “one body of Christ” is appropriate to unite against gun violence.

“It’s definitely a matter of faith,” she said. “The diocese is very active.

Ingraham and Scherm each acknowledged that even unified under the same faith, those who attend church services may have different feelings about how to approach the issue of gun violence. Scherm observed that worshipers are “all in different places on the road.”

“I think it’s fascinating because I think people are on a spectrum,” Ingraham said.

“We’re all in progress, and hopefully we’re still in progress,” Scherm said.

Considering the role of faith regarding the issue of gun violence, Scherm argued that “prayer changes the one who prays and connects us to the greater reality of love in the world.”

“I think it’s a place where we bring what’s close to our hearts,” she said of the church. “It’s a place where we’re reminded that what we see and live with isn’t all there is.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or [email protected]