Sep 26, 2023St. Andrew’s Will Be Hosting a Be SMART Presentation

St. Andrew’s Will Be Hosting a Be SMART Presentation

When: Saturday, October 14 at 11 a.m.
Where: St. Andrew’s | 6401 Wornall Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64113

Mother Melissa’s first Sunday at St. Andrew’s. Image credit: Amelia Anne Bodde

On Saturday, October 14, at 11 a.m., St. Andrew’s is hosting a Be SMART presentation in the Community Room at HJ’s Youth and Community Center. This 20-minute presentation will offer knowledge on how individuals can take steps to help prevent shootings by and of children.

There is a crisis of violence in our country, specifically here in Kansas City, which ranks sixth in the nation for most dangerous cities in America.

Firearms are the number one cause of death of children and youth in our state. On three successive Sundays, adult forums at Church of the Good Shepherd, Church of the Redeemer and St. Paul’s heard the message of Be SMART, how to keep guns out of the hands of children and youth. Parents, caregivers and other adults learned about safe storage and about asking about loaded, unlocked guns in homes that children visit. They also learned about the uniquely dangerous role of guns in suicide, with attempts with a gun resulting in death 90% of the time while any other attempt resulting in death only 2-3% of the time. Deaths by suicide are over half of the gun deaths in the state of Missouri. Northwest-metro deanery children and youth leaders also heard this important message, and want to bring it to the youth and families they serve. Each attendee learned about how to protect our children and families from unintentional shootings, addressing this dire public health crisis in our state.

Guns are the heart of many violent crimes, which are plentiful in our communities and relatively easy to obtain. In 2022, Bishop Bruce formed a Peace and Justice Committee to address the issue of gun violence. With firearms being the leading cause of death for children and teens in Missouri, the committee began to offer the Be SMART program to help parents and adults prevent child gun deaths and injuries.

For us adults, knowing how to properly secure firearms in our homes, asking about unsecured guns when our children play at someone else’s house, and how to prevent access to these weapons for young people in moments of crisis is imperative.

If you would like to hear this public safety message at your church, the Peace and Justice Committee of The Diocese of West Missouri has trained volunteers throughout the state who would love to come to make a presentation to your church, have a table at your bazaar, participate in your Trunk or Treat, or any other event where we can share this important information. Contact Tara Bennett at for more details.

Don’t forget to join us St. Andrew’s for our informative presentation as we create awareness on making our communities a safer place for everyone!

The Rev. Adam James is Deacon and Hybrid Ministry Coordinator at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City.

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