The Orlando massacre: join our Florida churches in prayer Tuesday at 11 a.m. EDT

unnamedOpen and Affirming congregations throughout the church are reaching out to their LGBTQ neighbors–in Orlando, and everywhere. This is a dark time in our nation’s history. The Coalition is now calling on you to join the UCC Florida Conference and the UCC’s National Officers in a time of prayer and resolve Tuesday at 11 am (Eastern), 10 am (Central), 9 am (Mountain), and 8 am (Pacific).

At that time, Florida UCC pastors will be gathering in Orlando with their Conference Minister, John Vertigan, the UCC’s General Minister and President, John Dorhauer, and the UCC’s Executive for Justice and Witness Ministries, Traci Blackmon. Representing the Coalition and the UCC’s Office for Health and Wholeness Advocacy will be Mike Schuenemeyer. This will be a time of prayer for the victims and their families, and time to renew our commitment as a church to fight for a world without hate and injustice.

Could you gather at this time–in small prayer groups, or as individuals at home or at work–and send your thoughts and prayers to Florida? It will mean everything to our churches there. And we know that many of you are also hosting or joining ecumenical or interfaith vigils in your communities tonight and tomorrow night. Thank you!

Please post any pictures or videos from services in your church or community for Orlando. If you use the hashtags #UCCFLA and #UCCONA, we’ll be able to share them with the wide ONA community.

On behalf of the Open and Affirming Coalition, I want to say how proud I am of you. Your congregation is saving lives and transforming the church. The massacre in Florida is a painful reminder that our mission is far from finished, and that we must work together as a movement until all of our churches and all of our communities are safe for everyone. You are an essential part of that work, and for that we thank and bless you!