Press Room

Washington, DC, January 16, 2013

Dean of Washington National Cathedral to Preach on Gun Violence Ahead of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Cathedral applauds President Obama’s comprehensive recommendations to curb gun violence in America


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Washington, D.C.—The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, will preach from the Cathedral’s historic Canterbury Pulpit this Sunday, January 20, 2013, calling on people of faith to follow the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s example of working together to address issues of the day—with attention now given to addressing gun violence in America. The dean will deliver his sermon from the same pulpit King used in his last Sunday sermon in March 1968—and on the day before the nation commemorates the civil rights leader and celebrates the inauguration of President Obama’s second term. Presiding at the services Sunday will be the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of Washington, with whom Dean Hall has partnered in vocal support for stronger gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December.

In response to President Obama’s announcement today, Dean Hall also released the following statement:

We at Washington National Cathedral commend Vice President Biden for his leadership during this crisis of gun violence, and I urge President Obama and Congress to enact today’s recommendations as soon as possible. While we applaud the 23 executive orders and recommended legislation that would require background checks for all gun purchases, ban military-style assault weapons, and restore a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines, we also pray especially for continued attention to the daily gun violence plaguing urban communities across the country.
Washington National Cathedral will continue to do its part to keep the problem of gun violence—and its solutions—in the public eye. In the months ahead, we will convene public dialogue about gun violence, its causes and solutions, in service of our mission as a faith community committed to gathering people from a wide range of political perspectives to engage important public policy issues of the day.

The Cathedral also announced today a special Sunday forum program with presidential historian Michael Beschloss, who will discuss President Obama’s second term and the creation of presidential legacies with Dean Hall at 10:10 am. Dean Hall’s sermons will take place during the two services of Holy Eucharist at 8:45 am and 11:15 am. All services and the forum are free and open to the public.

Media Availability

Media is invited and press coverage of the 10:10 am forum and 11:15 am service is welcome. To attend, YOU MUST RSVP to Meredith MacKenzie at (202) 265-3000 or meredith@rabinowitz-dorf.com by Friday, January 18, 2013.

Dean Hall’s Sermon on Gun Violence and MLK’s Legacy
Sunday, January 20, 2013, at 8:45 am and 11:15 am
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Very Rev. Gary Hall will address the task of reducing gun violence in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. In addition, he will offer insights into the parallels between Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision and the challenges facing our society today, renewing King’s call for nonviolence in light of the gun-related tragedies that continue across the nation.

The Shape of a Second Term: President Obama and Presidential Legacy
Sunday, January 20, 2013, at 10:10 am
Michael Beschloss, who has been called “the nation’s leading Presidential historian” by Newsweek, will have a conversation with Dean Hall about the next four years of an Obama presidency and the legacy he will leave when he exits the Oval Office after his second term.

SOURCE: Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral
Media Contact: Meredith MacKenzie
Work: (202) 776-7700