CARBONDALE (WSIL) — The First Presbyterian Church in Carbondale held a service dedicated to acknowledging the grief that is caused by gun violence.
Reverend Kerry Bean said the event held Sunday evening was meant to show attendees that the impact of gun violence is widespread and those affected can lean on each other for support.
"We wanted to make sure that our people, and by extension, the people of the community, know that they’re not alone dealing with the stress and the trauma that goes with gun violence," said Bean.
During the service, a prayer bell rang every 14 minutes signifying another gun death in America.
The service also included prayers, reflective music, litanies and candle lighting.
The city has had its share of gun violence recently, claiming the lives of two young men just days apart.
However, Bean said the event was not directly tied to those shootings.
"So it wasn’t specifically planned in response to the recent shootings," said Bean, adding that there was certainly a connection.
The service was somber and planned by a branch of the church that responds to natural disasters.
"So the same people who go after and help with like a hurricane assistance, or a tornado assistance just saw this as so pervasive in our country , 30,000 people every year die in gun-related violence, so it is a disaster," Bean explained.
Attendees also watched a documentary called, "Trigger: The Ripple Effects of Gun Violence," which was followed by discussion.
"This video expresses it as a public health issue because we lose so many people every year because of gun violence," the reverend added.