Saturday, May 4, 2024, 9AM - 1PM EST
On Zoom

A PDF version of this announcement is available for download by clicking here.

STOP in the Name of God
Multi-Generational Perspectives on Gun Violence

Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore (PCMDCB) invites you to join us in hearing from those closest to this rising tide – the most local and personal aspect of our nation's fatal addiction to violence. We will gather virtually in a plenary session to begin the day, choose from among two pairs of workshops, and then reconvene to sum up lessons learned and directions for the road ahead.

KEYNOTE: “Addressing a Culture of Violence”
Our keynote speaker, Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler, has long been a powerful advocate for all who seek justice and peace. He worked on Chicago’s West Side in the 1970s and in Boston’s Mission Hill and Roxbury neighborhoods in the 1980s. In 1993, he came to DC, where he helped transform Fort Totten from a neighborhood of corner liquor stores and open- air drug markets to an engaged and uplifting community. Retired from DC's Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ since 2022, Rev. Hagler is now a senior advisor for the Fellowship of Reconciliation; director of community relations with CORE DC, which strengthens supportive housing for returning District residents; and founding director of Faith Strategies LLC, among other roles. “Silence is not an option when your eyes have seen and your heart is filled with memories of Jim Crow, apartheid, discrimination, and human beings’ inhumanity to other human beings,” he says.

WORKSHOPS (Descriptions below. The first two will be concurrent, as will the next two.)

  • Voices from the Front Lines: Youth Perspectives 1
  • Spiritual Perspectives: Swords into Plowshares
  • Voices from the Front Lines: Youth Perspectives 2
  • Legislative Advocacy: Developments at the Federal, State, and District Levels

1. Voices from the Front Lines: Youth Perspectives 1
In urban areas with high rates of gun violence, young people bear the brunt of its impact. Students from local high schools and PCMDCB’s 2018 Peacemaker of the Year (POY) awardee Bex Heimbrock will share their experiences, feelings, and thoughts about street shootings, mass shootings, suicides, and the toll it all takes on their communities. This panel, moderated by MJ Park, will explore causes and solutions, amplifying the urgent need for change.

2. Spiritual Perspectives: Swords into Plowshares
In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus emphasizes love of God and love of neighbor as the foundation of his message. This workshop, presented by Bernadette Trowell and Rose Pope of MOTHERS ON THE MOVE SPIRITUALLY, INC. (M.O.M.S.), will address the tension between the Second Amendment and the second of the two Great Commandments. How can we beat swords – or guns – into plowshares?

3. Voices from the Frontlines: Youth Perspectives 2
More than five years after the historic March for Our Lives, our 2018 POY awardees continue to champion gun violence prevention. Current local students will join moderator Bob Cooke to introduce Matt Gannon, Laurelle Maubert, and Jaxon O’Mara (on video), then offer their own views about progress made, challenges faced, and the road ahead.

4. Legislative Advocacy: Developments at the Federal, State, and District Levels
Gun safety legislation can save lives. Advocates in DC, Maryland, and Virginia have been working hard to enact meaningful reforms. Where do their efforts stand? And what effect will recent and pending Supreme Court cases have on their work? Join moderator Bob More, Terri Robl from Moms Demand Action - Maryland, and a speaker from DC for important updates.

Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore is a region of Pax Christi USA, a national section of Pax Christi International. Rooted in the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching, we witness to Jesus’ teaching and example of nonviolence, rejecting war and affirming the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person.

Monthly Reflection

Interfaith in Action

Attending my first Parliament of the World's Religions conference was a deeply enriching experience. This conference served as a powerful reminder of the importance of interfaith dialogue in today's world. In a time when division often takes precedence, the Parliament provided a remarkable platform for diverse religious and spiritual traditions to come together, fostering mutual respect, cooperation, and harmony.

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Work for Peace

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Human Dignity

The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred. Our passion for peace is rooted in respect for life. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops summarizes the proud tradition of Catholic Social Teaching under seven themes. Life and Dignity of the Human Person is listed first, as the foundation of all succeeding principles and “the foundation of a moral vision for society.” Abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, and war are cited together as violations of our God-given dignity.


Nuclear Weapons

The time has come for new thinking on how to challenge complacency surrounding the belief in nuclear deterrence. Changed circumstances bring new responsibilities for decision-makers. The apparent benefits that nuclear deterrence once provided have been compromised, and proliferation results in grave new dangers. The time has come to embrace the abolition of nuclear weapons as an essential foundation of collective security. . . .


Just Peace

“No one has greater love,” Jesus said, than “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13), not “to kill others for one’s friends.”