Images from the March for I-594. This event brought together many faith communities from the Seattle Area in support of background checks for firearm sales. Photos by Jesse N. Love.


A supporter for I-594 marches from Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood to downtown.
Many were singing hymns and greeting supporters (and some opposition) on the streets.

Faith communities march for background checks, gun safety
By Jesse N. Love

On Sunday, October 19 the ecumenical community of the Seattle Area marched for I-594. This initiative will work to have background checks applied to all sales of firearms with ‘specific exceptions’. Participants brought their ballots to deliver at their final stop, the King County Administration building.

Members of The United Methodist Church along with brothers, sisters, and children of many faiths marched in solidarity to reduce violence and fatalities from firearms.

Many in the faith community shared why the issue of gun control and marching for I-594 is vital for our communities in Washington State.

NEWS_I-594_GretchenThe I-594 Faith March was an example of people of all faiths coming together to work towards justice and safety in our world. It was a truly inspirational moment of transcending differences to take one more step in trying to end gun violence in our state.

Gretchen Brown, Global Mission Fellow, organizing intern for Faith Action Network

NEWS_I-594_PatriciaIt is heartening to see people of faith coming together in support of this initiative – visibly at the march, but also in steady work to get out the vote. As Rabbi Daniel Weiner (Temple De Hirsch Sinai) said, we all share a commitment to mending the world where it is torn by violence.

The Rev. Patricia Simpson, Seattle District Superintendent, Pacific Northwest Conference

NEWS_I-594_SharonThough it was not a large rally and march (250-300 in attendance), the walk from Temple De Hirsch Sinai, stopping at First Baptist Church, to St. James Cathedral, to Plymouth Congregational, and ending at the King County Administration Building, demonstrated passionate commitment to finding ways to reduce gun violence.

Marchers from many faith traditions joined together to make a statement that we need to work together to require universal background checks for purchasers or borrowers of firearms. Walkers were in high spirits and grateful for the opportunity to make a public statement in favor of I 594. NOT 591!

The Rev. Sharon Moe, Pastor, Seattle: First United Methodist Church

NEWS_I-594_SandyThe march capped nearly two years of work by the interfaith community to improve gun laws in our state. It shows that people of faith can work together to make a big difference in our community. This is probably the longest and most successful effort by the faith community since the 1960’s to bring positive change.

It was a true joy to watch Cheryl Stumbo submit her ballot as part of the march. We sent an important message on behalf of the faith community and the community of gun violence survivors that we are united to reduce gun violence in Washington State.

The Rev. Sandy Brown, retired United Methodist clergy person. (Brown also is the President of the Center for Gun Responsibility, an originator of I-594, and candidate for Seattle City Council.)

NEWS_I-594_PattyPrayers for peace and justice in our lives and world: for victims at SPU, Café Racer, Lakewood, Tucson, Virginia Tech, Newtown, and for all gun violence that does not make headlines.

Prayers for family and friends who have lost loved ones from gun violence, for peace and solace of God; for communities terrorized by violence, for elderly imprisoned in their homes; for youth on the street children who are victims – they know peace in their lives.

Prayers for those who commit acts of violence so they know God’s forgiveness.

Patty Bowman, Director of Social Outreach, St. James Cathedral

This event was supported by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR), Faith Action Network,
The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, and The Church Council of Greater Seattle.

Ballots are due on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. For more information visit

Jesse N. Love serves as graphic designer & print manager for the PNWUMC.


  1. A woman who has a felony conviction is in a terrible position. If she uses a gun to defend herself, she risks prison. Every man knows this. police take at least 3 minutes to answer 911 calls. A woman shouldn’t have to decide between prison and a body bag.

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