In the U.S., Local Church Teens Host Summit for Stopping Gun Violence

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Seventeen-year-old organizer says she wants to use the initiative to reach others for Christ.

Skylar Robinson, a 17-year-old member of Tabernacle of Praise Church in Spanish Lake, Missouri, United States, wanted to make a difference after seeing her peers losing their lives to gun violence. 

“We’re losing too many young people. I became fed up when Jurnee Thompson, an innocent eight-year-old girl, was shot along with four other victims in a parking lot near Soldan High School on August 23, 2019,” Robinson said. Jurnee died from her injuries.

“I ran into my mother’s room and told her about the shooting. With tears in my eyes, I told my mom, ‘This has to stop!’ Her response was, ‘What can you do about it? It’s the world we live in.’ At that moment, I felt motivated to make a difference,” Robinson said.

That incident inspired Robinson to organize a public event. On Saturday (Sabbath), September 28, Tabernacle of Praise hosted an event called Stop Talking About It and Be About It — Putting a STOP to Gun Violence Summit.

About 120 people attended the summit, which included, among others, real-life dramatizations, singing, poetry, a Q&A panel, and a reflection from a mother who lost her son due to senseless gun violence. “Our goal was to have attendees leave with a sense of hope,” Robinson said.

The Q&A discussion about gun violence amongst youth involved three panelists: Cedric Redmon, youth ambassador of St. Louis; Eva Millar, a police officer of St. Louis City and a member of Tabernacle of Praise Church; and Karyle Barnes, pastor of Grand Avenue and Lighthouse Adventist churches.

Participants concluded the summit by praying over three families who recently lost their teen sons to gun violence, and gave the families a love offering. Attendees 13 to 39 years old received a copy of the book Stop The VIOLENCE by Christopher C. Thompson.

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