Charlotte, NC – Just across the street from the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) national convention, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA) leads a peaceful forum
, “Valuing Our Communities: Working Together to End Gun Violence.” Designed to assist families and communities and co-sponsored by North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (NCGV), the Saturday, May 15, 2010, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm event is open to the public. Local residents will discuss contributing factors to violence and formulate plans to build peaceful communities.
The Reverend LeDayne Polaski
, BPFNA Program Coordinator and event facilitator, says, “Jesus calls us to the work of nonviolence and we are about empowering people to have the skills to work that out right now, right where they are. Even though we’re an international organization, all peace work comes to the local level. This is to help people identify issues in their neighborhoods and use the assets they bring to create specific plans for action in their communities.”
During an introduction Therese Miller of Heeding God’s Call addresses national scene and NCGV Executive Director Roxane Kolar speaks more to North Carolina’s local situations. The program continues with Voices of Hope, highlighting remarks by Dee Sumter of Mothers of Murdered Offspring and Kathy Patterson from a nearby Union County neighborhood organization as they offer a power point presentation entitled Images of Hope.
Continuing to identify What Will Make A Difference Here, participants Move Into Action by creating specific plans to address real-life violence that they encounter every day.
In conclusion everyone present will be invited to sign a pledge card reading “I commit to working for peaceful communities” as they list action steps they will take.
A 2:00 pm peaceful protest walk across the street to stand in front of the NRA’s national convention at the Charlotte Civic Center will conclude the day’s activities. The NRA convention features former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, actor Chuck Norris, Glenn Beck from Fox News, Lt. Col. Oliver North, former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich and singer Charlie Daniels.
The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America gathers, equips and mobilizes Baptists to build a culture of peace rooted in justice and labors with a wonderful array of peacemakers to change the world.