In the early morning hours of Sunday, July 12, a heavily armed gun man walked in to the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL and began shooting. He killed at least 49 people and 53 more were critically wounded. He then took his own life. Your pastors want you to know that we deplore these and all acts of hatred and violence. We condemn them in the strongest possible terms. This attack was clearly hate-motivated and specifically targeted the LGBTQ community. Equally deplorable is the hatred that is now being directed at our Muslim sisters and brothers. Neither homophobia or Islamophobia have any place in our church or in our country. These are evils that have to be named and exorcised.
We call upon all of us to work together to stop the growing hatred and gun violence that is destroying too many lives, families and communities. Here are some actions you can take:
• Write, call, or email your legislators and demand that they take action on gun violence to protect the people. Petitions will be available on Sunday.
• Join our Justice Team’s task force on gun violence.
• Help us launch a new interfaith ministry here at the Temple.
• Let folk know that hatred will not be tolerated. Speak up when it is called for. Do not be silent.
• Attend one of the many events being held this week and in the weeks to come.
• Join us in marching in the Pride Parade on June 26.
Finally, tell and show those around you how important they are. We are all created in the image and likeness of God, and we are all loved by God.
Rev. Myron F. McCoy
Rev. Wendy A. Witt
Deacon Erin Simmons