president expresses shock and grief
over the loss of 27 persons by gun violence
New York, December 14, 2012 -- The President of the National Council of
Churches expressed "shock and the profoundest grief" over the death of 20
children and seven adults at the hands of a gunman in an elementary school
today in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
"As a parent, I cannot comprehend
the grief other mothers and fathers are feeling tonight," said NCC President
Kathryn Lohre. "I share President Obama's instincts to hug my own child
especially close tonight. And my heart breaks to know so many parents in
Connecticut are no longer able to do that."
like the shootings in Newton are impossible for theologians and clergy
to explain," Lohre said. "But we seek comfort in our faith that our God is a
God of love, and God's heart is breaking tonight, too."
Lohre pointed out that the National Council of Churches has been expressing
its concern about gun violence for decades.
The Council’s most recent resolution, “Ending Gun Violence, A Call to
Action” in 2010, called for a unified effort on the part of churches,
government and individuals to address the problem.
The resolution called upon “our local, state, and federal legislators to
enact reforms that limit access to assault weapons and handguns, including
closing the so-called federal 'gun show loophole,' which allows for the
purchase of firearms from private sellers without submitting to a background
check, or providing documentation of the purchase.
The resolution called upon persons of faith to “prayerfully, financially,
and otherwise support the NCC staff in coordinating ecumenical efforts for
gun violence reduction, including preparing educational materials about the
magnitude of gun violence, developing avenues for dialogue among gun owners
and gun control advocates within our congregations, and offering a faithful
witness in cooperating with inter-faith and nonreligious anti-gun violence
The full text of the resolution can be downloaded at
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of
the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for
shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's
37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican,
Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace
churches -- include 40 million persons in more than 100,000 local
congregations in communities across the nation.
NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 646-853-4212 (cell),