All week I found myself saying, “I just feel like I want to cry. I feel like I am sinking into depression. I don’t know why.” I got the personnel email for New York Disaster Interfaith Service (NYDIS), saying that as a trained Disaster Response Chaplain my services were needed in Florida – if I speak fluent Spanish. But, I don’t speak fluent Spanish. I read the Facebook posts of clergy friends speaking out against the horrors. But I did not seem to be able to write anything that didn’t seem trite in the face of such horror. Going home to the West Village from Advent, I got off the subway one stop early at Christopher Street and paused at Sheridan Square Park, across from the Stonewall Inn, in silent prayer. My silence is what is making me want to cry. Feeling helpless and isolated has fueled my depression.

But it is time to speak, to pray, to act . . . and it is time to do it together. We must together say this tangled web of hatred and violence is not what God intends for us. We are all made in the image of God and we must together seek to end the insanity that divides and kills. As people of faith our voices together must say NO to hatred of anyone – LGBTQ people, Muslim people, people who have a different cultural background than our own.  We must say NO – to violence and easy access to guns. We must say YES to the goodness of God’s creation and all God’s people.

It is hard to speak out alone. Holding on to fear, grief and sadness alone will lead to silent tears and depression. Coming together empowers us. So, join us in worship on Sunday at 9am or 11am in English, or 12:45pm in Spanish. Together we will pray and speak out. Together we will find our voice as the empowered people of God.

Also, take time to read what other religious leaders are saying:

  • Bishop Elizabeth Eaton – ELCA National Bishop | Read Statement
  • From Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries with a guest post blog: "Orlando:  A Pastoral Response from a Gay Latino Priest" by Angel D. Marerro | Read Article
  • From Reconciling Works: Article by Bishop Clare Burket, Southeastern PA Synod, ELCA Offers Prayers for Healing and Hope for LGBTQ People | Read Article
  • Bishop Robert G. Schaefer – Florida-Bahamas Synod ELCA | Read Statement
  • Bishop Robert Rimbo – Metropolitan New York Synod Bishop | Read Statement
  • National Council of Churches President and General Secretary -- Jim Winkler | Read Statement
  • Religions for Peace USA | Read Statement
  • World Council of Churches – General Secretary Rev. D. Olav Fykse Tveit | Read Statement

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