The shock and horror of gun shootings across the country has led Westmoreland Congregational UCC to sponsor a variety of activities such as concerts, forums, and protests over the past several years. As the number and severity of shootings continued to rise, Westmoreland decided that a more focused effort was needed and established the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force (GVPTF) in the fall of 2018. Separating fact from fiction about this issue was an important first goal, so a postcard of gun violence facts was developed and distributed to church attendees. Parishioners of all ages and backgrounds came together to discuss how Westmoreland could help in the fight against this tragedy. Over time, and with the help of other groups, Westmoreland has brought the issue front-and-center to its congregation and neighbors in Bethesda and the surrounding area by sponsoring and participating in numerous events. One of the most significant activities was to sponsor Heeding God’s Call “Memorial to the Lost” which was installed on Westmoreland’s front yard for two weeks in March, 2019.

For future events or to learn more about Westmoreland’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, contact Nancy Lohman at nlohman@comcast.net or Beth Hayes at bh3245@aol.com.

For more information on gun violence, please check out this article from The Washington Post, published September 4, 2019.