The Rev. Meribah Mansfield (Columbus) and Ariel Miller (Cincinnati) participated in the Rally for Gun Reform in Columbus on August 18. It was organized by Students Demand Action, Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety. They marched to Senator Rob Portman’s office to call on him to ask Mitch McConnell to hold votes on the universal background check and the Charleston loophole bills sitting on his desk, then they marched to the Statehouse to call on our state legislators to pass universal background checks and the safety protection order (red flag) bill that Governor DeWine proposed.

Earlier this month, Bishop Breidenthal sent us all a message asking us to start to talk about the issue of gun legislation among ourselves, relating what we have to say about that to our faith. He acknowledged that we are a people who disagree deeply on political issues, and he said that our first obligation as followers of Christ is to maintain community across division. The bishop invited us to have conversations about gun legislation between now and our diocesan convention in November. An opportunity to do that is coming up soon.

The Columbus Foundation will sponsor The Big Table on Wednesday, August 28. Community-building conversations on different topics will be held all over the Columbus area that day, and everyone is invited to participate in them. First Congregational Church in downtown Columbus is hosting a conversation about gun violence from 12:00 noon until 1:30 p.m. This free event will begin with “Table Grace” in the Washington Gladden Social Justice Park on the corner of Cleveland and Broad Streets at noon. A free lunch will be served at 12:15 p.m. The conversations at tables of eight will wrap up by 1:30 p.m. For more information and to register online, go to columbusfoundation.org/thebigtable.