Lenten Outreach Project

Engaging God’s Mission to Restore the World to God’s Shalom

The Episcopal Church of Minnesota’s Mission Opportunity 2018 focuses on the work of restoring the world to God’s shalom. One of the topics being focused on is gun violence prevention, which can be seen through the ECMN website under suggested resources.

2018 Lenten Outreach Project

This year the Outreach Working Group has chosen Protect Minnesota as the focus of our Lenten Outreach Project. The project runs from Ash Wednesday (February 14th) through Holy Saturday (March 31st).

Protect Minnesota was founded in 1991 as a coalition of 16 statewide groups committed to working together to prevent gun violence. The Minnesota Public Health Association was one of its first and most active member organizations, establishing the public health model as its primary approach. Other member organizations included the Association of Minnesota Chiefs of Police, AAUW, League of Women Voters, NAACP, Minnesota Nurses Association, Urban Coalition, Church Women United, and Minnesota Emergency Room Physicians.

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Originally named Citizens for a Safer Minnesota, the group was instrumental in passing legislation at both the state and national level in the 1990’s to keep guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers. In 2008, Citizens for a Safer Minnesota merged with the Brady Campaign chapters in the state. At that time the name was changed to Protect Minnesota.

What They Do

Legislative Action:

  • Blocking a host of really dangerous bills that are “locked and loaded” in committee at the state legislature.
  • Closing the background check loopholes that enable felons, domestic abusers and other legally prohibited individuals to purchase guns from unlicensed dealers, at gun shows, and online without a criminal background check.
  • Creating Gun Violence Protective Orders, also called “Red Flag Orders”, so that family members and law enforcement officers can have firearms temporarily removed from the possession of individuals who are exhibiting signs of dangerous mental illness, until they get the help they need.

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Suicide Prevention:

Over 82% of gun deaths in Minnesota are the result of suicide, which takes place disproportionately in suburban and rural counties of the state. Over 90% of gun suicide victims in Minnesota are white, and most are male. Although depression and addiction are important factors in suicide, anyone living in a home with a gun has 3 times the risk of dying by suicide compared to those who live in homes without guns.

Public Service Announcements:

Hunting is a proud tradition in Minnesota, and generations of hunters have passed down a legacy of locked and secure storage and other safety practices. But 63% of gun owners now purchase firearms for “personal protection” – usually handguns – and keep these weapons loaded where they can reach them quickly to defend their families. Ironically, an unsecured gun in the home is 22 times more likely to injure or kill a family member than an outside intruder.

Protect Minnesota is partnering with the U of M School of Public health, Minnesota Public Health Association and UCare in sponsoring a video and radio public service announcement contest that will help share the message that guns don’t make us safer.

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Keeping Kids Safe:

As parents we do everything we can to keep our kids safe. And yet, hundreds of children die, are injured, and even kill others with guns every year. These entirely preventable tragedies take place when children find unsecured and loaded guns in vehicles, their own homes or the homes of friend or family members. Protect Minnesota teaches gun owners how to store their guns safely and parents how to ask about unsecured guns in the homes before allowing their children to visit other households.

 

Please consider a donation to benefit Protect Minnesota programs, which are engaging God’s mission to restore the world to God’s Shalom.  For a donation form, please click on the link provided.

2018 Lenten Outreach Brochure and Donation Form.

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