From New York to California, Michigan to Louisiana, more than 100,000 worshippers in more than 150 religious congregations across the country are expected to participate in the Lifelines To Healing “Live Free Sabbath.” “Live Free Sunday: Honoring our Sons and Brothers” will feature family members displaying photos of loved ones lost to gun violence, or a son or brother for whom they’d like to pray. As a part of the Sabbath, clergy will call on the faithful to advocate for an actionable plan to prevent gun violence and raise awareness around mass incarceration.
The Live Free Sabbath is organized by the PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign, a faith-based effort to reduce gun violence and end mass incarceration in the nation’s urban communities. It is being held in conjunction with the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath, organized by Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence and Washington National Cathedral. Houses of worship from all faiths and denominations are expected to take part, including City of Refuge in Los Angeles, Tabernacle of Praise Church in Atlanta, and Olivet Baptist Church in Chattanooga. Each community’s mayor has also been invited to attend.
“As Americans, and people of faith, our values teach us that we have a shared responsibility to each other, and so we stand in solidarity honoring the truth that I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper,” said Pastor Michael McBride, director of PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign, which is the organization behind the Live Free Sabbath. “Through this Sabbath, we are renewing our commitment to work in our cities and neighborhoods to ensure that when young people wake up to go to school, they can learn and be successful; and when they return home at night, they feels safe and free from violence and trauma. When our brothers and sisters call on us, we will answer, because we love and care for their wellbeing.”