WEBSTER GROVES, MO - Within the walls of Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, a pressing issue was the topic on the table.
“The church has been speaking out against gun violence for 50 years, and we have a policy. We've enacted over eight different statements speaking out to this,” said Rev. Deanna Hollis who traveled from Dallas, TX.
Rev.Hollis is the first person to be ordained as the Minister of Gun Violence Prevention.
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship has more than 1,200 members from around the country. Members gathered this weekend for sessions about having courageous conversations about the issue of gun violence and how to effectively address the issue.
“It's a combination of education on some of the issues related to gun violence prevention and how can we as people of faith address that and become active in finding solutions to that violence,” said
Susan Scott, co-chair of the advocacy committee.
Saturday afternoon, the groups broke up into several small sessions and focused on listening and sharing personal feelings on how violence or guns have affected their lives.
Organizers said the workshops provide a structure.
There was also a time to talk with legislators. Hollas said the Presbyterian church has seen the importance of getting involved in their communities.
She said this was her way to combine her faith with work in gun violence prevention.
“Gun violence is a pretty charged issue it brings out lots of emotions for people no matter what side of the issue that they are on,” Hollis said.
The weekend continues with sermons Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. There will also be a presentation at 9:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to join the conversation.