Here is a short list of one or more simple actions you can take yourself and in your community:
#1 – Join the “No Need to Execute!” Governor Postcard Action. Click here to pre-order a set number of postcards your community will commit to get signed and send to the Governor. We’ll mail the cards to you by the next weekday that the post office is open and you may expect to receive them one or two days later.
This action is being promoted in conjunction with the Ohio Council of Churches, but it is open to any faith, civic or other group willing to participate. The minimum order is ten postcards, up to as many as you think your community will use. Plan to speak briefly from the pulpit on the next weekend or at your next group meeting, with a process to distribute the postcards to those wishing to sign and send them right away. The goal is to create a steady stream of individual postcards from Ohioans of faith to Governor Kasich over the next six weeks.
#2 – Add a prayer to your regular schedule of special prayers. Please pray for healing and support for the families of homicide victims, prisoners and their families, corrections workers and professionals in the legal community working on this issue. The holiday season is especially difficult for each of these communities.
#3 – Write your own note to Governor Kasich. As a faith leader, let Governor Kasich know that you are available if he would like to personally discuss scriptural imperatives regarding the death penalty. (If you have read Governor Kasich’s book about his bible study group, Every Other Monday, you know that this is a vital aspect of his spiritual identity.) Share your view that we do not need executions to be safe from dangerous criminals or to hold them accountable and that forgiveness and mercy are common teachings among all faiths. Offer to personally stand with him should he act to postpone executions in Ohio indefinitely.
#4 – Get others to write and call. In addition to or instead of the postcard action, urge everyone in your community to write AND call Governor Kasich, and ask others to do so as well. Click here to take action on-line. Click here to download a flier you can share. Share this message on your social media:
Will #Ohio resume executions? Tell @JohnKasich we can be safe and punish murderers without more killing http://action.otse.org/page/
#5 – Add a bulletin announcement. Include something like the following in your newsletter or bulletin from now through February 12th: Feel free to adjust as you see fit, perhaps adding language about your own faith’s teachings on capital punishment, mercy, forgiveness, etc.
SAMPLE: [Insert name of faith community] is joining with many other faith communities in Ohio to urge Governor Kasich to not allow the resumption of executions in our state. It has been nearly three years since the last execution. We know that Ohioans can be safe from dangerous criminals while holding them accountable without taking their lives. Please call Governor Kasich at 614-466-3555 to leave a message with your name, where you live, and your personal request that he not resume executions.
Also, members of our community are signing postcards to Governor Kasich. If you would like to sign and send one, [insert who to see or where to go after services].
#6 – Be visible in your community. Plan to attend a vigil on February 15th. Executions are typically scheduled for 10am. Should the courts not intervene and we are unable to convince Governor Kasich that it is unnecessary to resume executions, there will be a prayerful vigil at the Statehouse followed by visits to legislators (we have reserved the Atrium). OTSE’s partner in Cincinnati, the Intercommunity Justice & Peace Center, will coordinate the vigil outside at the Death House at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. If you know of any planned execution vigils or would like to plan a vigil or worship service in your area, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance and so that OTSE can list it on our web page.
#7 – Plan a community conversation on the death penalty. This may need to wait until after the holidays, but Ohioans to Stop Executions stands ready to assist at any point. Please click here to read about the Faith Leader Initiative, and here to request an OTSE speaker.
Thank you for everything that you do. We’ll share updates as they are available. Together we will make the difference.
Also published on Medium.