There's not a word in that title suggesting anything other than stopping violence. Not one, not anywhere. The Muskegon County Cooperating Churches have come together to send a message against the use of guns for violence and murder in our community and the event will be taking place at Hackley Park on Sunday August 27th from 4p-6p with the arrival for those who'd like to participate anywhere from 3:30-3:45. The Reverend Tim Vander Haar from the First Congregational Church invited me down to learn a little more about this event. Take a listen.
The theme of the day is hunter blaze orange. It's a message that says "Don't shoot me". It's a fair warning and a small ask. The walk will begin at Hackley Park and will visit a number of area churches for a moment of prayer and reflection. This is an incredible opportunity to not only be among those who are in support of ending the violence caused by some with guns, but you'll get to visit different churches and see that we are all more the same than we are different. The message from one church is generally not that far off from the next and the belief....that's in your heart, and should be universal.
At the park you'll find some singing, some giveaway's and some refreshments provided by St. Paul's Episcopal. The walk will stop at the worship locations as well as the city and county buildings to spare a moment. City and county buildings? Yes, but why? Think about gun violence and the impact. The act of using a gun for violence has so much carry over. If you shoot someone, chances are...you're done too. Life in prison takes away a second life. The effects from there ring through the both families, the police, the courts, the community and in time, when some more clarity is found...even prison won't mend the conscience. We need to think of the entire sphere of ruin, and it's profound. To send a prayer involved to everyone in the process of such violence cannot hurt.
If you cannot make the walk itself, the park will stay alive with some of the group. It will be a great community gathering and a peaceful way to send a message that as our community grows, we have respect for life. We have respect for neighbors. We have respect for our rights and we have compassion enough to say that we stand against violence. We are a community of good, caring people and it can be shown, in blaze orange, on Sunday August 27th at Hackley Park. CLICK HERE for the Facebook event. Visit the Muskegon County Cooperating Churches by clicking on the image below.