By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Trinity Church of Northborough, 23 Main St., will be hosting a vigil to end gun violence Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. This vigil is part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness and educate the public on the issue during the month of December.
The statistics are staggering. Since the Sandy Hook shootings took place in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, half a million Americans have been killed or injured by guns. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been 242 school shootings; according to Mass Shooting Tracker, over 1,500 mass shooting incidences have occurred, as defined as four or more people shot in an incident.
Trinity Church’s Rev. Valeria Schmidt said the goal of the event is to shed light on the issue and come together as a community.
“All can agree that innocent people are dying,” said Schmidt. “Something needs to change; it’s a complicated solution.”
The nationwide effort to #EndGunViolence was initiated by the Newtown Foundation, the charitable arm of the Newtown Action Alliance, in partnership with several other organizations whose mission is to prevent gun violence.
The national events will remember victims, survivors and families who have been affected by gun violence but are often forgotten.
Schmidt hopes the Trinity Church vigil will bring the community together at a time when people may feel helpless after hearing about events like the recent ones in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs.
“We don’t have to pretend that everything is OK,” Schmidt said. “We want to offer space for people to come who may need a place to mourn, cry and feel safe and protected.”
The event will begin with a prayer vigil in the sanctuary, followed by gathering on the church’s front lawn to light candles for the victims and their families.
“We want to pray for the families of the victims, pray for the offenders and their families, and pray that our nation will wake up and prevent any more people from being hurt,” Schmidt said. “We believe in prayer, but we also realize that sometimes prayer isn’t enough. We want to raise awareness, educate and show that we care.”