Five years after the murder of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun violence continues to take our children. So far this year, 33 Missouri children have been killed…some in preventable shootings where kids have gotten access to unlocked guns, some caught in the cross-hairs of street violence.
Each child was somebody’s son, daughter, sibling or grandchild. Each had a name and left behind precious memories of their brief lives. On December 14, the fifth anniversary of Sandy Hook, we’ll remember each child we lost in Missouri-by name and by photograph.
We’ll also hear how our community is responding in active and holy ways to the gun violence epidemic:
-The Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd, Provost of Christ Church Cathedral, will recall her experience as the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown, CT at the time of the Sandy Hook tragedy. She continues to be active in gun violence prevention efforts in St. Louis.
-The Rev. Marc Smith, the Deputy for Gun Violence Prevention for the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, will tell us about the multi-faceted projects the diocese has implemented to address gun violence, including his work with local clergy.
-Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr. will talk about the impact of losing his brother and many friends to gun violence.
The Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd earned a bachelor’s degree in education/psychology at Bridgewater State College, in Bridgewater, Mass. Four years after the Episcopal Church began the ordination of women, she acquired her Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, New York. She served congregations in New York before joining Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown, CT and was rector there for 20 years before becoming Provost at Christ Church Cathedral in January, 2017.
The Rev. Marc Smith joined the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion as priest associate in 2016. He previously served as the vicar of the Church of the Ascension, a historic African American parish in Northwoods. Father Smith had a 35 year academic medicine and health care executive career before becoming an Episcopal priest. He has served on multiple local, regional and national health care boards and commissions.
Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr., a Democrat, represents part of St. Louis City (District 78) in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2016. In 2015 he was appointed Police Community Liaison by the St. Louis City Police chief. He also has served as a regional organizer for Generation Progress, and is the founder of 28 to Life, which is a youth violence prevention organization.