PRESS RELEASE: NY congregations join 150 across country in Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath

January 18, 2013

Jan. 18. 2013
Christina Fleming
cell: 917-439-3770
Middle Collegiate Church
112 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003
(between E. 6th and E. 7th Streets)

NY congregations join 150 across country in Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath
Middle Collegiate Church and Auburn Seminary call on faith leaders to help end gun violence

NEW YORK — Middle Collegiate Church will join 150 congregations across the nation this Sunday, Jan. 20 at 11:15 a.m. in a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath and in commemorating the legacy of non-violence of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Broadway and television stars Tituss Burgess, Bryan Terrell Clark and Daniel J. Watts are scheduled to take part in the worship.

Auburn Theological Seminary and Middle Collegiate Church are working together with PICO National Network and Mayors Against Illegal Guns to mobilize faith leaders to combat gun violence through PICO’s Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath. Clergy and congregations are urged to pledge to preach, pray and act for gun control. Leaders can join more than 150 houses of worship around the country by pledging to participate here.

Middle Collegiate Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Jacqueline J. Lewis, who is urging religious leaders to join her in encouraging congregations to travel to Washington D.C. for the Gun Control March, will lead Sunday’s service. The Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, president of Auburn Theological Seminary, will offer the prayer. Auburn and Lewis partnered to issue a call to Auburn’s network of more than 60,000 faith leaders to join PICO’s Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath, and Auburn is asking staff members to personally recruit five faith leaders to join the cause.

“In the face of indescribable violence and unconscionable evil, the families and communities of Newtown have inspired us,” Henderson said. “We pray for this community, and now is the time for faith leaders to join together as one and end the threat of mass shootings and gun violence in this country once and for all. God is calling on people of faith to organize to prevent Newtown from ever happening again.”

During the worship, Bryan Terrell Clark (Fences and CSI: New York) of Broadway’s upcoming Motown: The Musical will perform “What’s Going On,” and Broadway’s Daniel J. Watts (Ghost, In the Heights, and Memphis), also of the upcoming Motown: The Musical, will offer scripture in spoken word format. Tituss Burgess (Guys and Dolls, Little Mermaid, D’fwan in 30 Rock) will perform his original gospel composition “We Shall Overcome,” a foot-stomping modern civil rights song with a call to action. The Middle Church Choir and the Middle Church Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir will also perform.

“As Congress considers President Obama’s urgent call for broad action on gun control, we, as people of faith, need to speak out and stand up for legislation that keeps all our children safe,” said Lewis.

To set up an interview with Henderson or Lewis, contact Erin White,, 212.255.2575.


Middle Collegiate Church is a multiracial/multicultural congregation committed to social justice. The church works for marriage equality, LGBT justice, racial justice and economic justice. Middle Collegiate Church's senior minister is Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Ph.D., the first African-American and woman senior minister of the Collegiate Church of New York. Rev. Lewis has been featured in The New York Times Video, ABC7, CBS2, NBC4, NY1, Essence, and The Huffington Post.

Auburn Theological Seminary equips bold and resilient leaders who can bridge religious divides, build community, pursue justice, and heal the world. Learn more at

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