Gun violence vigil planned Dec. 13

A candlelight vigil designed to bring awareness to gun violence in the community will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, at St. John’s Church (The Beloved Community), 4136 North Grand Blvd.

The vigil, titled “Remember, Reflect, Respond,” is sponsored by Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice.  Among the 14 co-sponsors are the Jewish Community Relations Council, the National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section and Central Reform Congregation.

Speakers will include Lois Schaffer of Long Island, N.Y., whose daughter was murdered in a home invasion in Creve Coeur in 2008. Schaffer has written a book, “The Unthinkable,” recounting the experiences of her family after the tragedy. Other speakers will be Valerie Dent, president of STL Mothers In Charge, who lost two sons to gun violence, and the Rev. Ken McKoy of Progressive Zion AME Church, whose son was shot earlier this year.

Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation will deliver the call to action.  In addition to candle lighting, the event will include music performed by choir members from St. Pius V Catholic Church and an original song, “Put The Pistol Down,” by local rapper C Sharp.

Following the program, members of Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice will provide free gun locks to families who have unsecured firearms and children in the home.

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