by Adventist Today News Team
More than 3,000 teens and young adults from the Seventh-day Adventist Church will march across the landmark Brooklyn Bridge to say no to gun violence at 3 p.m. Sabbath afternoon (March 23). Marchers will gather at Cadman Plaza at 2 p.m. and the march will end at Foley Square in Manhattan. A press conference is scheduled for 2:45 p.m.
Bill de Blasio, New York City Public Advocate and mayoral candidate has confirmed that he will join the March, as have United States Congress members Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries, and Michelle S. Davis, health administrator with the New York City regional office of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services.
“Scores of youth in our local communities are killed in senseless acts of gun violence,” said a news release from the Greater New York Conference of the denomination. “We are marching for change. Change the statistics! Change the trend! No more violence! It’s time for Compassion. This march will inspire hope in our young people that a bright and prosperous future can be theirs if they say no to violence. This march reflects the need for more compassion in the way we live our lives.”
The event is being organized by Pastor Jose Cortez, Jr., director of youth ministries for the denomination’s Atlantic Union Conference that includes the conferences in the New England region. He is being assisted by Pastor Rohann Wellington, communication director for the Greater New York Conference.
“This kind of public witness touching on a controversial issue is rare among Adventists in North America,” a denominational administrator who has worked at the General Conference told Adventist Today. “It is much more common in other parts of the world, including a number of the countries where many of the church members in New York City and New England have roots. It is probably a more understandable [to the general public] and effective public witness than knocking on doors with religious literature.”
Adventist Today will update this story next week. We would be pleased to hear from any participants and observers.