UCC Responses to the Mass Shooting in Orlando

Peace Congregational Church, Clemson SC

Peace Church will take three deliberate steps to memorialize those who lost their lives in the Orlando massacre on Sunday, June 12th. First, they attended teh community vigil at Clemson University on June 15. Second, on Sunday, June 19 their altar will feature one candle for each person who lost their life in Orlando. They will also have nine candles in remembrance for the Charleston Nine. The world can be a dark place, but there is also light and there are times when we are called to spread that light in a dark world. Third, as an LGBTQ-oriented congregation, they will be sending a token of sympathy to our neighboring mosque. As they write, “We know they and and Muslims all over this community and throughout our nation are also victims. We know the act of a terrorist is not reflective of Islam.”

UCC President and General Minister Speaks in Orlando

Clergy of the UCC’s Florida Conference gathered with their Conference Minister, the Rev. John Vertigan, to show support for the grieving LGBTQ community and their families. Joining the service were the Rev. John Dorhauer, the UCC’s General Minister and President, the Rev. Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister for Justice and Witness Ministries, and the Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, Executive for Health and Wholeness Advocacy and a member of the Coalition’s Leadership Team.

Amistad Chapel liturgy: “Light in the Broken Places”

The UCC national staff, the ONA Coalition and UCC congregations in Northeast Ohio gathered at Amistad Chapel UCC in Cleveland for a powerful service of remembrance and hope. It was videostreamed live on YouTube. Permission is granted to adapt this liturgy for use in your congregation, with appropriate credit to the contributors listed at the end of the document. The link to download the liturgy is below the video. Many churches are ringing a bell for each of the 49 victims. Their names are on the Coalition website.

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