Mayor Barrett visits churches on 9th annual "Ceasefire Sabbath"

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett visited Milwaukee-area churches on Sunday, June 9th to promote nonviolence in the Milwaukee community as part of the ninth annual Ceasefire Sabbath.

Every year, Mayor Barrett asks Milwaukee’s religious leaders to join him in disseminating words of peace to parishioners and community members.

Due to numerous mass shootings during the past year and in an effort to stem local shootings, the Mayor urged faith leaders at a kick-off breakfast earlier this week to raise awareness about gun violence during this weekend’s services.

“During the past year, we were shocked and grief-stricken over mass shootings in Aurora, Oak Creek, Brookfield and Newtown, as well as the ‘slow motion mass murders’ that occur by gun fire every day in U.S. cities,” Mayor Barrett said. “We ask congregants to stand with victims and their families against gun violence.”

Last week, Mayor Barrett spoke with members of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.

"We have to find ways to reduce the violence in the city," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said as he addressed a crowd.

The room was packed with police, city officials and religious leaders all brainstorming ways to stop the violence.

"Let's see what we can do to make it better," Pamela Collins said.  She is a mother who knows violence first-hand.  Her daughter Rosalind Ross was killed in 2010.  Her lover was convicted of shooting and killing her outside of a fast food restaurant.

"It took so much out of me.  It hurt me so bad.  It really tested my faith," Collins said.

Collins addressed the crowd at the ninth annual Ceasefire breakfast -- a kick-off to the weekend of events encouraging people to promote peace.  Groups spoke to five Milwaukee churches, using faith as a tool to make a difference.

"Many times we're not talking to the young man who is going to be out at three o'clock with a gun, but we may be talking to their mother or their girlfriend or their sister and they ultimately can reach them," Mayor Tom Barrett said.