Anti-violence concerts planned for York area

Sean Philip Cotter

The last weekend in September will feature two free anti-violence events featuring music in the York area.

Saturday, Sept. 24, will bring the Love Over War Fest block party in York City's west end, and then Zion Lutheran Church, just north of the city, will put on a concert that Sunday as part of a national campaign against gun violence.

The latter event, which will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m., is part of Everytown for Gun Safety's Concert Across America campaign, which is meant to raise awareness about gun violence, said Mark Mummert, the minister of music and communication at the church at 2215 Brandywine Lane in Manchester Township.

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The concert won't have a whole lot of politicking in it, he said. There won't be presentations about gun-violence statistics or anything like that. It'll just be music, mostly gospel and classical, from area musicians.

But the point of the concert will be clear: to move politicians to focus on ways of cutting down on gun violence, he said.

Everytown for Gun Safety's Concert Across America campaign

"I am having trouble reconciling being both Christian and a citizen of a country where people can have military-style weapons in their hands," Mummert said.

He said he's fine with people having hunting rifles or pistols for protection but thinks there should be background checks and bans on high-powered rifles.

York City Mayor Kim Bracey, who has advocated for stricter gun laws, will attend the concert, Mummert said.

Mummert said the program for the event will feature a QR code linking to a petition pressuring presidential candidates "to be clear on their stance on curbing gun violence in their country."

He noted that Sept. 25, the day of the concert, is a day when ceremonies around the country honor murder victims.

"The concert is first and foremost in remembrance," he said.

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On the day before the concert, the Love Over War Fest block party will close down the 100 block of South West Street in the city from noon until 5 p.m. It's sponsored by New Covenant Community Church, whose pastor, Anthony Sease, is a community activist in the city's west end.

Love over War Fest

It'll feature several musicians, many playing religious-themed music, as well as food and activities, according to a news release.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him or on Twitter at@SPCotterYD.

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