JUNE 2, 2023
THIS SUNDAY ~ KINGDOM DREAMS, VIOLENT REALITIES
This Sunday, June 4, Central’s Adult Class will begin a new series, one of the most important studies we have ever undertaken. Important because—quite literally—lives hang in the balance. For whatever reasons, violence—particularly gun violence—continues to rage out of control. In 2021, the most recent year for which complete data are available, 48,830 people in the US died of gun-related injuries according to the Centers for Disease Control. This figure includes gun murders, gun suicides and other gun- related deaths. The numbers don’t include those injured with guns or otherwise victimized by gun use.
Most of us have been touched by gun violence. Thirty-four years ago, at 11:59am on Tuesday January 17, 1989, the first mass school shooting in the US took place, three blocks from our church. With a semi-automatic refile, the shooter killed five school children and wounded 32 others, including one teacher. Members of our church family were directly impacted.
In this series we’ll look at gun violence from through the perspective of our Judeo-Christian heritage. Our guide will be a little-known Hebrew prophet, Micah, who wrote in Palestine some 2800 years ago. His times were bleak economically and politically, times when the superpowers of the age roared and trounced each other, and refugees fled this way and that to avoid the violence. Opportunists took what they wanted; others were left hungry. Sound familiar? To this world Micah spoke:
“In days to come…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more…for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.” ~ Micah 4:1-4
Our study series will be coordinated by Becky Cameron, Central Member and member of Cleveland School Remembers (CSR)/Brady United Against Gun Violence). Our curriculum, Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities, is a Bible study produced by the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church.
Those who wish to participate will have an opportunity to create a Soul Box. Somewhat akin to the AIDS Quilt Project, which created quilts in remembrance of those who died of AIDS, Soul Boxes are created to remember those who have been victims of gun violence.
We hope you’ll join us in Knoles Room 6 on Sunday mornings.
June 4 The Common Good,
June 11 Transformation
June 18 Flourishing
June 25 What Can We Do?
(Note: There will be no class THIS SUNDAY, May 28).
TO PREPARE FOR JUNE 4 ADULT ED CLASS
The link below will go to the Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities materials we will be studying in adult ed in June. We encourage you to read the materials (a total of 45 pages) to learn more about this important topic. If you plan to participate in the class, try to read the 7-10 page section each week. You will find the information compelling. The 4th Sunday we will learn things we can each DO to help our nation deal with the #1 cause of death among children in our country—gun violence.
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