Last night, my home church, Good Shepherd Lutheran, hosted an ecumenical evening of Prayer and Worship in Light of Orlando. The sanctuary was full of people seeking strength, consolation, reconciliation, peace, etc. in the wake of the worst mass shooting in US history, an evil motivated by hatred of the LGBTQ community. Today, I don’t feel strong, consoled, reconciled, or peaceful about what happened. But I do feel grateful and proud that GSLC intentionally provided a space for people to be together, to feel the power and potential of loving community. I also acknowledge it had to be the spirit’s work that GSLC would wrestle with our welcome statement, full-inclusion, and ultimately become Reconciling in Christ BEFORE Orlando so that last night we could be that space.
We still have work to do. Only a person who attended Sunday night’s vigil at St. Paul’s Episcopal AND St. James’ vigil almost a year ago post-Charleston would be aware of the vast local support for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters over our Black brothers and sisters. Nearly all the people at St. James were members of that church. Only a handful of us were white. I won’t attempt to unpack all that. I will ask the question, post-Orlando, post-Charleston, what will we do now to help...to love our neighbor?