Oakland church

Orlando: Love Has the Last Word


Dear Beloved Community,

Many of us are still reeling from the heartbreaking tragedy in Orlando.

It is heartbreaking to consider the history of mass shootings in our country:  Sandy Hook, Charleston, San Bernardino, and now Orlando. Each act of terror, each act of hate, and every act of violence seeks to diminish us, to drive us to despair, to divide us into an “us and them.” But, this terror, this hate, this violence does not have the last word.

Love has the last word.

In such times, it is tempting to place blame to make sense of senseless violence. But we cannot succumb to divisions. This tragedy cuts across the lines of race, class, sexual orientation, and religion.

Let us resolve to unite together, across all lines and all communities, especially: LGBTQ, Latino/Latina, and Muslim communities. Let us unite together in peace and stand against any and every form of hate and violence.

Together, we can make this world a better place. Together, let us widen circle of love and empathy. Together, let us seek the good in people and call ourselves to our highest good.

As progressive Christians, the radical teachings of Jesus propel us forward, forging a path to greater love, equality,  grace, and peace.

With love,
Pastor Laurie

PS: Below is an (adapted) prayer from a UCC minister, and here are some ideas for talking with your children about this tragedy.

God of music and light, of strobe and disco ball,
God of the pipe organ and the 303 bass machine,
God of Latin chant and Latin rhythm,
God who smiles over night club dance floors, 
we remember the wide stretch of Your love.
We remember how the hate of the small minded cost Jesus his life.

God, please draw close to the people of Orlando.
Please be sheltering, shimmering wings upon 
every blessed person touched by this tragedy.
Be a mighty fortress, built of Pride and courage.
Bless every person who goes out dancing tonight in defiance of hatred.
May every hip, every eyelash, every sequin burn like a star in defiance of hate.
Rev. Nancy Taylor, Old First Church Boston (adapted)

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