Early this morning many of us learned about the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando last night. We are always sad when senseless violence takes innocent lives and when irrational hatred disrupts our communities.
Sunshine Cathedral remembered the victims of the attack this morning at our worship services. In sermon and in prayer and at Communion we called to mind the victims and their loved ones. Additionally, Sunshine Cathedral clergy are present this evening at a community vigil in Wilton Manors and at a rehearsal for "Not in My Town"...an opera about the murder of gay student Matthew Shepherd in Wyoming.
The leadership at Sunshine Cathedral is holding Orlando in prayer today. We are wishing the injured complete recovery, and we are joining with people all over the world in mourning for those who were killed. We are also grateful for first responders and medical personnel who have worked vigilantly to help as many people as possible.
Let us not use this incident as an excuse to fuel old fears, hatreds, or prejudices. This is a moment that can bring out the best in all of us and bring all people together to work for a more peaceful and just world. Let us do what we can to be a healing force in our world.
We wish comfort for the families of people who were hurt or killed last night, including the family of the shooter who was also killed. And we call for an end to the hate speech that inspires acts of violence. Let us make every effort to summon the power of healing love in this difficult time.
May the Sacred Power of Life bless us and keep us as we embrace hope and healing, and as we commit to being a force for good in the world. Amen.
Yours in shared sorrow,
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins