FirstU Activists on the Front Lines Against Violence

Unitarian Universalist riders line up to Joint Team 26: Samdy Hook Ride on Washington as they approach Hockessin on Monday. Left to right: "Biker Bob" Ingersoll, Suzanne Perry, Rev. Richard Speck, Lynn Ingersoll, Elizabeth Siftar, Paul Pinson, and State Rep. Paul Baumbach, a member of the UU Fellowship of Newark.

Unitarian Universalist riders line up to Joint Team 26: Samdy Hook Ride on Washington as they approach Hockessin on Monday. Left to right: “Biker Bob” Ingersoll, Suzanne Perry, Rev. Richard Speck, Lynn Ingersoll, Elizabeth Siftar, Paul Pinson, and State Rep. Paul Baumbach, a member of the UU Fellowship of Newark.

Two public actions to promote peace in our community.

On Monday, Suzanne Perry, president of our board of trustees, helped organize a group of FirstU cyclists to join Team 26: Sandy Hook Ride on Washington as they passed through Delaware on a 400-mile trip to Washington to honor victims of gun violence—especially the 26 children and teachers killed by a gunman in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012.

The FirstU cyclists joined Team 26 in Yorklyn and rode with them to Hockessin, where about 75 people cheered their arrival at a rally to raise awareness of gun violence and promote sensible federal legislation. Several other FirstU members were at the rally, which was organized by member Jeff Lott in his capacity as communications director for the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence (DeCAGV).

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn led a group of local officials that included members of New Castle County Council, state legislators, and a representative of the New Castle County Police. Former State Senator Liane Sorenson of Yorklyn, chair of DeCAGV’s board, closed the event with a plea to Delaware’s General Assembly to strengthen the state’s protections against gun violence for victims of domestic violence.

Here’s a gallery of photos from the event. Click to see larger image. (Photos by Bob Ingersoll, Elizabeth Siftar, and Boyd Sorenson.)

Good Friday March for Peace

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams (left) joined the Urban Stations of the Cross march for peace on Good Friday. To Williams' left are George Higgins, a UU who is executive director of the Delaware Coalitions Against Gun Violence; Rev. David Andrews of the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (SsAM), sponsor of the march; Terry Walls or Wilmington Peacekeepers Association; and Suzanne Perry of First Unitarian Church. They were at the corner of 7th and Washington Streets, the next-to-last stop on the march, which concluded with a gathering at SsAM.

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams (left) joined the Urban Stations of the Cross march for peace on Good Friday. To Williams’ left are George Higgins, a UU who is executive director of the Delaware Coalitions Against Gun Violence; Rev. David Andrews of the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (SsAM), sponsor of the march; Terry Walls or Wilmington Peacekeepers Association; and Suzanne Perry of First Unitarian Church. They were at the corner of 7th and Washington Streets, the next-to-last stop on the march, which concluded with a gathering at SsAM. (Photo by Jeff Lott)

On Friday, a smaller group of Unitarian Universalists heeded the call of the Movement for a Culture of Peace to join an unusual Good Friday march in the streets of Wilmington. The Urban Stations of the Cross, organized by the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (SsAM), drew about 75 people to the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center on Madison St. Marchers included members of the Movement for a Culture of Peace and several UUs,

For each station of the cross, marchers stopped at seven street-corner “hotspots” where violence had occurred, making their way to SsAM for a service of song and commitment to peace. David Andrews, rector of SsAM, led the march and presided over the ceremony at the church. At each stop and at SsAM, the church’s adult choir sang traditional spirituals and encouraged the marchers to sing along.

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