Resources to help promote the 2014 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend

Thank you for your efforts to promote the upcoming GVP Sabbath Weekend. Below are some resources we hope you will find useful in spreading the word. Please copy, paste and use anything you like. Images can be saved by right-clicking on them and saving them to your computer.

Outreach Text (to invite peers and friends to participate)

Sample Facebook Posts

Sample Tweets

Graphics for Email or Social Media (can be sized down as needed)

Five Week Sample Email Series (best used with larger clergy lists)

Brief Newsletter Blurb

Sabbath Weekend Promo Flyer  
 

Personal Outreach Text (to send to your personal list of clergy/friends)

Greetings ________,

I hope this note finds you doing well. I’m writing to ask that you join me, _________________ (your org. name), and more than a thousand congregations across the country for the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, March 13-16.

We’re supporting this interfaith weekend of education, reflection and action because we know that we must send a clear message to our country that this fight is not over. Many think it is, but those of us called to this issue by faith know that is far from the truth. We must continue to raise awareness, work for responsible gun use and for gun laws that protect Second Amendment rights while saving lives.

Along with Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of more than 50 national denominations and faith groups, and the Washington National Cathedral, we’ve put together http://www.decembersabbath.org, which is full of prayers, readings, hymns and event ideas (sorted by faith tradition) to help congregations participate. And participating is as easy as incorporating a prayer, hymn or reading into your already planned service the weekend of March 13-16.

Individual congregations can pledge participation at http://www.decembersabbath.org.

If you oversee several congregations, check out our resource center HERE where you can find sample email blast text, social media messages, and shareable graphics to help you spread the word. We’re hoping to get thousands of congregations to participate… we need you!

As faith leaders, we have both the opportunity and the moral obligation to educate Americans about gun violence and what they can do to help enact life-saving laws. Please join me in doing so on the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, March 13-16.

Blessings,  

 

Sample Facebook Posts

More than 30,000 will die from gunfire in 2014 if we don’t act. Join thousands of congregations on March 13-16 for the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath. Pledge your place of worship’s participation at http://www.decembersabbath.org


Participating in the Mar 13-16 Nat’l Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is as easy as incorporating a prayer, hymn or homily into your regular service. Join more than 1,000 participating congregations by pledging your place of worship’s participation at http://www.decembersabbath.org


[Organization Name] is joining 50 other national denominations and faith groups for the March 13-16 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. We must continue to raise our voice against the preventable loss of life. Join us by pledging your congregation’s participation at http://www.decembersabbath.org


33 Americans are killed each day by a gun, 8 of them under the age of 20. We must not falter in educating one another and pushing all levels of government to act. Join more than a thousand congregations across the nation for the March 13-16 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. It’s easy to participate. Learn more at http://www.decembersabbath.org Adapt any of these messages with “Just X days to go” in the run-up to the Sabbath Weekend.  

Sample Tweets

Join 1000+ congregations for 2014 National #gunviolence Prevention Sabbath, Mar 13-16. http://www.decembersabbath.org #marchsabbath


HUGE interfaith #gunviolence prevention Sabbath Weekend is March 13-16; pledge your congregation’s participation at http://www.decembersabbath.org #marchsabbath


30,000+ Americans will die in 2014 fr: gunfire unless we act! Join 1000+ congregations for #gunviolence prevention Sabbath Weekend, Mar 13-16. http://www.decembersabbath.org #marchsabbath


Loss of life to gunfire is preventable. We know #gunviolence prevention laws work; spread the word by participating at http://www.decembersabbath.org #marchsabbath


50+ denominations and faith groups + more than 1000 congregations will unite to prevent gun violence. Learn more at http://www.decembersabbath.org #marchsabbath


Check out faith-specific #gunviolence prevention resources available at http://www.decembersabbath.org #marchsabbath  

Images for Social Media Channels and Email Blasts

 

Email Blast Series (adapt to your denomination or group)

EMAIL BLAST #1

SUBJECT: Join the Nat'l Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath, March 13-16

[[Title]] [[First_Name]] [[Last_Name]]–

The second annual National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is March 13-16. We will, with your help, send a clear message to our country that this fight is not over. Many think it is, but those of us called to this issue by faith know that is far from the truth. We must continue to raise awareness, work for responsible gun use and for gun laws that save lives.

If your program for that weekend has already been planned…

Consider one of these three fairly simple ideas on how you can participate and keep your current program in place:

  1. Incorporate a compelling prayer, hymn or reading into your already planned service. Tell your congregants that your place of worship is joining with thousands of other congregations to recommit ourselves to preventing gun violence. Speak about the importance of laws that protect Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them.
  2. Set up an information table or hand out information at the end of service. Ask congregants to read about (and share with others) how gun violence prevention laws are saving laws in states where they exist. Mention that activities like this are taking place in places of worship from various faith traditions all across the nation.
  3. Include gun violence prevention success stories in your church bulletin. Encourage congregants to discuss the positive results of gun violence prevention laws with their friends, family and peers.

 (Pledge your participation and we'll let you know as soon as our new handout on how these gun violence prevention laws are saving lives is available.)

Many in Congress and in our state legislatures remain committed to meaningful gun violence prevention…we must support their efforts and move their colleagues to join them in passing laws that will save lives!

We should never lose hope that Congress will act. Good legislation is still being worked on in both houses to require a meaningful background check on all gun purchasers. And, along with that, there is also important work happening at the state level. We know that in the six states where comprehensive gun violence prevention laws exist, there has been a significant decrease in gun violence. The problem is that many people don’t know about these success stories and may be starting to lose hope. We can't let that happen! Your congregation’s participation can help recommit your congregants to the cause and educate them that gun violence prevention laws do save lives.

We hope you will join us and more than 1,000 congregations across America on the weekend of March 13-16. Thank you,   P.S. Do you oversee several congregations? Check out our resource center HERE where you can find sample email blast text, social media messages, graphics and outreach text that you can adapt and use to help you spread the word.  

EMAIL BLAST #2

 SUBJECT: Hundreds of congregations have already said YES; has yours? [[First_Name]]– What could be more precious than the life of a child? Their innocence gives us hope and their purity of spirit brings us joy. We pass our hopes and dreams along to them, not just from parent to child but, collectively, from one generation to the next. So when the most pure and innocent among us suffer a completely preventable death, it’s on all of us to examine how such a thing could come to pass. Our current reality is that eight children are lost to gun violence every single day in America. With no new federal legislation and with only a handful of states having comprehensive gun violence prevention laws, that number will not be decreasing anytime soon. But there is hope because there is you!

Together, we must carry the message that many lives are being saved in states where the most comprehensive gun violence prevention laws exist. We need to recommit ourselves to educating our friends and peers that this is not about taking guns away, but keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. And when we start to lose hope, we must remember the eight children alive today whose lives will end tragically tomorrow… find our strength and push forward. Please join more than 50 national denominations and faith groups and more than a thousand congregations across the nation by pledging your congregation’s participation in the 2014 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath, the weekend of March 13-16. This isn’t just symbolic. The polling shows that while most Americans believe in these laws, they aren’t convinced they will make much difference. But we know that they do. So, the challenge before us is one of education… and that’s why your congregation’s commitment to participating in the Sabbath is so critical. Help spread the word that these laws work.

We hope you will join us, P.S. Do you oversee several congregations? Check out our resource center HERE where you can find sample email blast text, social media messages, graphics and outreach text that you can adapt and use to help you spread the word.  

EMAIL BLAST #3

 SUBJECT: Online Resources for your Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath event [[First_Name]]– Have you pledged your participation in the 2014 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend yet? If not, please visit http://www.decembersabbath.org to learn more and take the pledge. Participating is as easy as incorporating a prayer, hymn or reading into your already planned service the weekend of March 13-16. And there are a wealth of sermons, prayers, hymns and event ideas available at the website to get you started.

  Another 30,000 souls will be lost this year if we fail to act. And while there is no guarantee that Congress will take the kind of aggressive action we’ve been praying for, there are 30,000 reasons for us to continue in our mission to educate one another and our legislators about the success stories in states where comprehensive gun violence prevention laws exist. And, for those who don’t stand with us, to paint a picture of life in America where homicides and suicides with a gun are the exception, not the norm. This is what the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is all about. Recommitting ourselves to reducing gun violence and educating ourselves and those in our circles about the policies that are currently saving lives. The more people we educate, the more people we empower. And the more people who are empowered, the harder it will be for legislators to turn a blind eye.

There will be more than 1,000 congregations participating across the country. We hope you will add your congregation today! Sincerely, P.S. Do you oversee several congregations? Check out our resource center HERE where you can find sample email blast text, social media messages, graphics and outreach text that you can adapt and use to help you spread the word.  

EMAIL BLAST #4

  [[First_Name]]– National interfaith events like the upcoming Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend (Mar 13-16) are critical in our work to heal the wounds that have been inflicted upon us and to learn about how we can save lives going forward. Events like these give us an opportunity to unite with other communities of faith throughout our nation and to educate each other on solutions that have been proven to reduce gun violence.

Twelve years ago, the faith community came together to take on tobacco companies. The coalition was incredibly broad and diverse, bringing together denominations that hadn’t often worked with one another. But on tobacco, there was consensus that tobacco companies had been given free reign for far too long… and that they must be regulated. In the fight to regulate tobacco companies, the faith community played a critical role in convincing opponents in Congress to become supporters. In fact, the public health community credits the faith community in turning the final few votes needed to bring regulation up for a vote in Congress. Now, an even larger coalition of faith groups is working to do the same on gun violence prevention legislation, both in Congress and in a number of states. And the upcoming (March 13-16) Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is the one time each year where we come together as a national faith community to reflect, educate and act to reduce gun violence.

Participating is as easy as incorporating a prayer, hymn or reading into your already planned service the weekend of March 13-16. And there are a wealth of sermons, prayers, hymns and event ideas available at the website (http://www.decembersabbath.org) to get you started. Sincerely, P.S. Do you oversee several congregations? Check out our resource center HERE where you can find sample email blast text, social media messages, graphics and outreach text that you can adapt and use to help you spread the word.  

EMAIL BLAST #5

  [[First_Name]]– We are just ___ days away from the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend (March 13-16). More than a thousand congregations have signed up to participate over three days of worship, reflection, education and action. If you haven’t yet pledged to participate, please consider doing so. It’s not too late!

Here are three fairly simple ideas on how you can participate and keep your current program in place:

  1. Incorporate a compelling prayer, hymn or reading into your already planned service. Tell your congregants that your place of worship is joining with thousands of other congregations to recommit ourselves to preventing gun violence. Speak about the importance of laws that protect Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them.
  2. Set up an information table or hand out information at the end of service. Ask congregants to read about (and share with others) how gun violence prevention laws are saving laws in states where they exist. Mention that activities like this are taking place in places of worship from various faith traditions all across the nation. (A great handout for this can be found here.)
  3. Include gun violence prevention success stories in your church bulletin (you can find some here). Encourage congregants to discuss the positive results of gun violence prevention laws with their friends, family and peers.

Together, we must carry the message forward that many lives are being saved in states where the most comprehensive gun violence prevention laws exist. We need to recommit ourselves to educating our friends and peers that this is not about taking guns away, but keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. Please join us! With hope, P.S. Do you oversee several congregations? Check out our resource center HERE where you can find sample email blast text, social media messages, graphics and outreach text that you can adapt and use to help you spread the word.  

Brief Newsletter Blurb

On March 13-16, faith communities across the country will participate in the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. We join over 50 national faith denominations and organizations in urging congregations to pledge participation at www.marchsabbath.org. Participating is as easy as incorporating a prayer, hymn, reading or educational activity into your already planned service. We know that in the 16 states where background checks are required for all handgun sales, fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partner, fewer people kill themselves with guns, and fewer law enforcement officers are killed with handguns. In seven of these states, even more lives are saved due to an additional safeguard in the form of fingerprint-based background checks. The problem is that many people don't know about these success stories and may be starting to lose hope. We can't let that happen! Your participation can help recommit your congregants to the cause and educate them that gun violence prevention laws do save lives. For event ideas and sample materials, visit www.marchsabbath.org. For questions, contact Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence through http://www.decembersabbath.org/contact/

Sabbath Weekend PDF Promo Flyer

Download HERE  

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The Fall 2016 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is December 14-18

The National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is a joint project of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence -- a coalition of 50 national faith denominations and groups. Copyright © 2014-2017. All rights reserved