Standing with brothers and sisters in Orlando

Group 236

“We are killing ourselves. All are created in God’s image. We are LGBTQ. We are Muslims whose faith has been cooped by hate. God have mercy,” tweeted the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, on June 12, 2016 following the deadly mass shooting in Orlando. In a letter released the following day, Presiding Bishop Eaton calls to us all, saying: “We must speak peace and reconciliation into the cacophony of hatred and division. We must live the truth that all people are created in God’s image.” (Full text at, and  in Spanish at .)

The Rev. Robert G. Schaefer, bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, shared a response tot his event in their backyard in a letter dated June 13, 2016. In part it said, “As Christians, we turn first to Jesus, who endured the agony of the cross to redeem and reconcile the world and who even now consoles and leads us as we walk in the shadow of that cross. Join me in praying for the victims of this atrocity, their families, the family of the shooter, all the first responders, chaplains, hospital staffs, and for the city of Orlando.” He went on to suggest action to accompany sentiments. (Full text at )

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, in which the ELCA is an affiliated partner, issued a statement June 14, 2016. “This is a time that will define us, our local communities, our nation and our global interconnecting of nations,” it begins. “The Orlando massacre at the Pulse Club can bring out the best or the worst in us. Let us resolve to work in unity for that which builds and unites communities of faith and diversity of race, gender and nationality and weaves a spirit of solidarity into the fabric of a shared community of love, peace and fairness for all God’s children.” (Full text at .)

1606orlandoLocal plans to show our support in the face of this tragedy include the following events. Contact Karen Krueger ( to add additional synod-affiliated activities, or post to

Monday June 13
Hosted by Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Burke, Virginia

Tuesday June 14
7:15-9 p.m.
Community Candlelight Vigil to #prayforOrlando
Hosted by River of Grace Lutheran Church, Manassas, Virginia–Community-Vigil-Tuesday-Night.html?soid=1102722493470&aid=NkQuDFpJ2KM

Wednesday June 15
7 p.m.
Prayer Service for the People of Orlando
Hosted by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in D.C.

Wednesday June 15
8 pm
Candlelight Vigil to gather in prayer for Orlando
Dupont Circle Fountain, NW D.C.
Participation announced by Augustana Lutheran Church D.C., hosted by Dignity/Washington, DC’s Faith Community for LGBT Catholics
Event will be ASL interpreted.

Wednesday June 15
8 pm
Radical Love Vigil
Hosted by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Gaithersburg, Md.

Thursday June 16
7 p.m.
Contemplative Prayer and lighting of candles
hosted by Luther Place Memorial Church, NW D.C.